Mono Blue Control, a Breakdown
is a huge part of Mono Blue Control’s success because of her Signature card, . Eclipse gains more and more clearing power over time, eventually becoming a better card than , after enough turns have passed. Because of how important this is, the Mono Blue Control player should focus resources during the early game toward keeping Luna alive, to gain more charges for Eclipse. The reason you put Luna in the flop is for a few reasons --
- It’s important to get that first charge immediately.
Because Luna is in the flop, you won’t miss the first charge to something like a , which could prevent her ability from triggering with a cross lane kill. Since you gain the charge immediately, Eclipse is already gaining end-game clearing potential from the very start of the game. With enough Round 1 cards like and , it’s easy for Luna to survive a few turns.
- Getting a Lucent Beam Round 1 or Round 2 on a Hero is huge.
Because so many Heroes are at a comfy 7 Health (Protecting them from ), Luna hitting a Hero during the beginning of the game with her ability, Lucent Beam, could pull those enemy Heroes into At Any Cost range. Add in things like and , Lucent Beam's damage can really add up over time!
is the ultimate value generator with his ability, Multi-Cast. Some have even claimed it might be too powerful, requiring a nerf! The main thing to remember is try to play your draw cards in Ogre Magi’s lane, because if Multi-Cast procs, you are getting so much value. is also a great combo piece in this deck with many other cards. With Ignite, you deal 1 Piercing damage to all enemy units in a lane, this can be an easy way to setup your to spawn a massive number of Hounds of War. Ignite can also be used to bring Enemy Heroes down into easier Ranges, , or even .
is my absolute favorite Hero card in Call to Arms. With and two in your hand, the entire enemy line-up of Heroes could be at risk of getting wiped, before most of them have even had a chance to play a card! Zeus’s passive can also be a total force to be reckoned with, because with , Zeus can survive while his passive ability, Static Field can trigger and kill 7 Health Hero units.
I’ve often times used Zeus deployment later in games to “chase down” enemy Heroes with 7 or 8 Health (that deploy into a lane with Ignite) and use Zeus to clear the lane with . “Chasing Down” is basically when one of your Heroes deploy and an enemy Hero is deploying during the same phase. In those instances, if you can use your Hero to kill the enemy Hero, you want to try and deploy into the same lane as the opponent, effectively chasing them down.
is obviously one of the most powerful Blue Heroes in the game. And in Mono Blue, you’ll often see her deployed in both the Flop and the Turn, depending on the personal preference of the Control player. Typically, she is a Flop Hero because of her massive 12 Health, she can survive most first Rounds without any issues. But if she flops into the second lane, it’s often the worst place for her to land. Ideally, Kanna would land in the first lane, where you want to establish a presence quickly and hold on to it. And Kanna spawning in the third lane isn’t a big deal either, having a beefy unit that can survive enough turns and reliably cast for you is a pretty huge advantage as well. But in the second lane? There isn’t much that she can really excel at for you. Instead, your first and third lane are only weakened with no spawns.
This is why I prefer Kanna in the Turn position. Here, I can deploy her into either the first or third lane reliably, without having to worry about RNG putting her in the wrong place. Of course, as I’ve already mentioned, is very powerful. And against certain decks, it shines even more.
The Fifth Hero
When deciding to run a Mono Color deck, it’s important to understand what the fifth Hero really is in your deck. Effectively, it’s going to be the worst Hero in your deck, because at the end of the day, it’s the fifth Hero you chose to run from that color’s pool of Heroes. Second, your Fifth Hero should be chosen with a bit more purpose than the rest of your deck’s Heroes. That might sound odd reading, that it’s the worst Hero in the deck but it’s chosen with more purpose? Basically, your first four Heroes are chosen because they are the best Heroes of a specific color, not because of any particular reason. However, your fifth Hero is in a limited pool of sub-par Heroes and most Heroes in that pool are slightly more one dimensional. Let me explain --
for instance, is pretty basic. His signature card, , adds another removal tool to the deck. That’s it. There isn’t a lot of intricacy there. You can do some flashy things, like Mystic flaring one of your own Heroes that have equipped, drawing you two extra cards immediately. That’s a very situational moment in a game, and not something you should try and replicate often.
But Skywrath Mage can be a great tool against specific decks. Something like Red/Black that wants to use Initiative to activate things like , , or even . After using an in the previous lane, you could easily Mystic Flare a , , or even an already damage . If you suspect you’ll be running into a lot of Red/Black, this might be the right Fifth Hero for your Mono Blue Control!
is a great fifth Hero in a metagame that is filled with evenly distributed decks across all colors. Only problem is, that doesn’t really exist. Crystal Maiden is absolutely the best fifth Hero on paper, because she is kind of a win-more Hero. One of her biggest weaknesses is how easily she is to kill, also killing herself to in the process. By her sitting out so many rounds, you don’t really get a chance to take advantage of her Signature, Arcane Aura.
I’ve never been a fan of Crystal Maiden in Mono Blue. But, if I were to ever play a series of games against the AI using every possible deck in Artifact’s Call to Arms set, Crystal Maiden would have the highest win rate of any of the Mono Blue fifth Hero choices. One, because the AI isn’t very good. And Two, that would be a lot of really bad decks. However, some people like the Maiden and maybe you should give it a try.
had more of a place in this deck when Blue/Green Combo was still running around rampant. Obviously, is one of the best answers to a massively wide board buffed up with . However, gets the job done just as easily, and for 1 less Mana. Personally, I always want to die when I get multiple Echo Slam draws early in a game, because they sit as dead weight for so long, before you are ever able to use them. But using them can be very satisfying, sometimes. (Still doesn’t make it worth it)
Because Blue/Green Combo isn’t much of a thing anymore, I wouldn’t really recommend Earthshaker at the moment. However, after another set or two, he might rise back up as a top Fifth Hero choice!
I’ve spent more time using than any other fifth Hero choice, up until recently when I swapped over to (Still haven’t made my mind up). When using Outworld Devourer, I’ve realized that using on yourself can be really huge for Protecting a Hero from death, either to get another charge on your Luna, surviving for another round before casting a nasty or .
Of course when was buffed in Patch 1.2, it really hurt Outworld Devourer’s stock. Thinking back on it now, that was actually when I started using Skywrath Mage more. Because of the easy accessibility of Jasper Daggers (it should cost more than 5 measly gold, right?), you can never be sure when the opponent can clear of Astral Imprisonment, so using the card on the opponent’s Heroes isn’t always an effective use of Mana.
should be used as early as possible. In the early stages of the game, your Heroes are likely going to die a lot anyway. If you can sneak in Diabolic Revelations during the same round your Heroes are going to die to combat, it’s a great way to generate value. Especially if you can play it in ’s lane for that juicy Multi-Cast proc!
and are what as known as “Cantrips”, cards that draw 1 after being played. In this deck, they are also great tools to protect your weak Blue Heroes in the first few rounds of the game, when they are most vulnerable. Try to use these either in Ogre Magi’s lane for the Multi-Cast or in ’s lane, to protect her from dying for more charges.
I think there is a real argument that could be made that these three cards are the most important cards in Mono Blue Control. gives you insane early game pressure, allowing you to keep up with the likes of Red/Black Aggro, as well as pick up devastating board clears for very little mana. At Any Cost is also an amazing tool when combined with a , often times being a 3 Mana Draw 2 spell, when the adjacent are killed.
is possibly the most powerful card in the deck. Essentially it can double a lane’s Mana, every round after the one it was played it. It enables wipes, it gives you more Mana to spend in ’s lane for more Multi-Cast procs, it allows you to cast many more and whenever you have an opening to go wide. It’s just unbelievably good.
is a must have at 3. Because of this decks powerful on-Initiative plays like , , , , etc, it’s imperative that this deck has a way to take Initiative back. In many cases, once you get Initiative, you can wipe your opponent’s board before they even have a chance to play a card. If done properly, your opponent can go multiple rounds without getting to do anything.
These three are just extremely powerful Blue cards and in my opinion, make up the core philosophy of the House of the Wise. These three cards epitomize what Blue is all about, going wide, drawing cards, and clearing the board. If you asked me, I think one of these three shouldn’t even be in Blue, because these core strategies are just so darn powerful! is obviously a sick card, allowing you to push wide against both Red/Black and Red/Green, where they have very few options in dealing with a wide board.
is obviously an amazing draw card, especially when you can Multi-Cast it with . I pretty much always save these for Ogre Magi’s Lane. Lastly, is just absurd. 6 Mana, blow a lane up. In many cases, wins and losses with Mono Blue come down to if you have Annihilation or not when it matters. It’s extremely important to use these at the right time, and I would always recommend asking yourself before playing it, “Can I hang on to it for just another round?”
Lastly, the 1-ofs in the deck. These cards are very important to the deck’s strategy, but can oftentimes be swapped around and experimented with. Lately, I’ve seen a lot of 1-of making its way into Mono Blue. As well as people trying out dropping , which I can kind of agree with.
is just a sick card, especially when put in a lane with , allowing you to nearly clear a lane of creeps without investing any cards at all is amazing. Top that off with a Static Field from or a lucky ping from , and you might get some free Hero kills in the process! I think it’s best to run only 1 Conflagration because of how popular Red Heroes are, which usually come with Armor already, negating the effect of Conflagration.
is an interesting card. It essentially gives you free Initiative in Lane one, without having to use in Lane three. But it can also mess up your own game plan, especially if your opponent can do a cross lane , killing your only Blue Hero in the Glyphed lane, or even something as simple as just equipping a to take the stun off and killing your Blue Hero. This is why I only run 1 Glyph of Confusion.
is great in this deck because we are able to go wide easily, giving us a higher chance of having an unblocked Hero that can maul off Improvements. There isn’t a lot of absolute necessary targets we are going after, but having the extra damage can come into play pretty often, and any way we can slow our opponent down, the better.
has garnered quite a following lately, replacing the ever popular . I like both for different reasons, but the main reason Fur-lined is better in Mono Blue is that your Heroes die so often, that even after you’ve equipped Stonehall Cloak, they can die easily, not getting off the extra health at the end of the round. Whereas with Fur-lined, you’ve got the guaranteed 8 Health.
doesn’t need any explaining, I hope. It's the best item in the game and unbelievably important. Some things you can do with it is Blink a Hero from lane two or lane three into your Glyphed Lane One, allowing you to avoid the stun from . You can also Blink down, allowing you to get an extra charge. And in some very rare cases, you might need to blink an down to get another chance at an important Multi-Cast.
is a fairly new addition to Mono Blue. While some have been running it for awhile, it has finally caught on to the mainstream. Cloak of Endless Carnage can create so much extra value, allowing you to draw through your deck even faster than you already could. And Mono Blue is obviously the best drawing deck in the game right now, Cloak only makes it even more stupidly powerful in that regard.
Why having more than 40 cards isn’t necessarily bad
Mana Curve is simply the all the cards in your deck distributed by Mana Cost. Because we are running high cost late game cards like , , , and , our deck could end up being too “top heavy” creating opening hands that are all too high in cost, preventing you from having early game plays. By running more lower cost cards such as , , and , not only are you allowing yourself to draw into more cards, you are giving your deck a higher distribution of early game cards, negating the negative effect of the high mana cost cards. Essentially, we are flattening out our Mana Curve, just slightly.
- Draw as much as possible, especially in ’s lane
As I’ve mentioned before, using your Cantrips and Draw cards in Ogre Magi’s Lane is massively important. Any extra value you can generate from Multi-Cast will pay off massively the longer the game goes on. This is also important because it can allow you to draw into your 1-of cards like , , and even your win condition, .
- Dying early isn’t a big deal, in fact it can be really good
I always try to allow a Hero to die on the Mana 4 round, allowing that Hero redeploy on the Mana 6 round, often times using Annihilation in a very important lane. One tip I can give you is spamming in the first few turns isn’t that big of a deal, and I’d almost always do it. In some instances, like say against a Red/Black Aggro deck with , I might be more hesitant, but more often than not you’ll be cutting yourself for more cards!
- Recognize which lane should be your priority
Here’s a big hint, Lane One is a massive target for priority for you. As I’ve described already, having a strong presence in Lane Three to cast in, giving you the Initiative in Lane One can be massive. If you have Lane one on lock, you can cast and down stream, or even use and to wipe your opponent’s entire board. Lane One is huge!
Transitioning into a win condition
- is your most important end game piece
Annihilation as little as possible, use removal like , , or instead when available. Your opponent will be counting down every Annihilation you use, and remember, it’s the only card in your deck that you can’t Multi-Cast! Ideally, you should be saving Annihilation until the very last possible round, preventing your opponent from taking a tower. High level players will actually deploy Heroes into unfavorable positions, giving you value Annihilations during the mid game, hoping you’ll take the bait and not have them later.
- Don’t screw yourself with
Like I mentioned before, it’s really easy to do this. I think most players who have played a lot of games with the deck will admit this has happened to them on occasion. It’s important to pay attention to gold spent by your opponent, so you can predict when they have purchased a 5 gold . Knowing if they have one in hand or not is important, but you can also respond to a Jasper Dagger in a Glyph Lane with a removal card, keep that in mind!
- Prioritize for your opponent’s high priority lane
Of course you should always try to maximize your Conflagration’s value by putting it in a lane where it’s going to cause problems for your opponent. If you can Conflagrate the lane they are trying to push a tower in, you can buy yourself a round or two so you can reach your Bolt of Damocles win condition. Speaking of --
- 20 is the magic number
Do whatever you can to get towers down to 20 Health. Even if it means blowing a , that you know will die to an opponent's the following turn, if it puts the tower in “Bolt Range” it will always be worth it. And believe it or not, for a deck filled with weak attack Heroes, you will be surprised how often towers will chip down to 20 just by regular attacks going off. You actually wipe your opponent’s Heroes out of the lane often enough, that your regular chip damage will do a lot!
Versus Red/Green Midrange
- They don’t care about initiative because they have to use
Knowing this, you can save until the very late game, when you’ll likely need it most. Instead of playing a card right away, maybe consider the opponent will into something, think about passing when you have initiative going into a lane during the mid game. because if you play something right away, spending your Mana, they know they can freely Stars Align into or whatever, ruining your day.
- Most of your board clears go down in value after
Thankfully a lot of your cards pierce armor, like , , and , so the extra armor won’t be too much of a problem. And of course, you can always . But I bring this up because the entire game versus Red/Green Midrange will change after has been cast. It’s such a big deal, you’ll often see players casting Time of Triumph on only one hero, because it’s that powerful. The extra four health changes things a lot for you, because it can put them out of reach of , and makes completely worthless. Keep this in mind.
- Red/Green will struggle versus a wide board
and might be powerful cards in the matchup, so spam them as often as you can, especially in ’s lane. The wider you can get your board, the easier it will be for you to get towers into “Bolt range” and allow you to finish the game. Using your to cast more Dimensional Portals if possible, which can be devastating for your opponent. Also be aware, they will likely have to knock off your Aghanim’s Sanctum. So try and place it in a lane after the opponent has spent their mana.
Versus Red/Black Aggro
- You will die a lot in the beginning
They are going to kill you a lot, but if you spend your resources correctly, you can set yourself up for success later in the game. Cards like can be spent freely in the beginning of the game, because you’re going to die anyway. I’d also like to mention that if they cast things like early, to counter your and , you are getting a massive lead because they have to spend their powerful “On-Initiative” cards.
- is going to play a big role in this matchup
This is part of the argument why is better than . With Stonehall Cloak, it’s still really easy for your Heroes to die in this matchup, preventing you from ever surviving a round of combat to trigger the extra health from Stonehall Cloak. With Fur-Lined Mantle, however, it’s much easier to survive through battle and still be able to cast some cards. In fact, getting Dueled or Berserker Called isn’t much of a problem after you get Mantles down on your Blue Heroes.
- is huge in this matchup
Hopefully you can draw this early to match your opponent’s pressure on your heroes. With , you can wipe most Black heroes with a Static Field, Lucent Beam, or even an in the same lane. Thankfully the deck has enough draw power to possible get it in the first few turns, allowing you to do serious damage to your opponent’s ability to choke your Blue Heroes out.
Well, that about wraps this breakdown up! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this guide! Check back later for a breakdown on the Red/Green Midrange deck!