by Jerry Mee

Hello everyone and welcome back for another dose of spicy deck brewing! As any good chef will tell you, sometimes a recipe only calls for one type of spice. The same can be true for a deck brew. Sometimes it is rewarding to keep “Things” simple yet flavorful. Even in Legacy, with access to some of the best mana fixing in the game, we chose to go a simpler path and stick to just one color. So with today’s brew we are going to stick to just one spice. I like to think that the one spice in this brew is good old salt, lots and lots of salt.

Mono Blue Thing in the Ice

Creatures (12)
Thing in the ice
Snapcaster mage
Vendilion Clique
Venser, Shaper Savant
Thassa, God of the Sea

Spells (29)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Back to Basics
Sword of Fire and Ice
Force of will
Spell Pierce
Spell Snare
Cryptic Command
Lands (20)
10 Island
Polluted Delta
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest

Truthfully this deck has been brewing in the back of my head for about two years now. Ever since Theros block and the introduction of Thassa, God of the Sea I have wanted to bring back old school Mono Blue Control to Legacy. Unfortunately, the deck never had legs due to the lack of a solid win condition. Many of you must be screaming at your computer monitor now “WHAT ABOUT DELVER OF SECRETS!!!”. True our little bug friend is one of the greatest blue creatures ever printed, but he does not work in this setting. Delver is a tempo creature who is most at home surrounded by his friends Daze, Wasteland and every now and then Stifle. What we want is some true blue control creatures for this list and there just was not anything that fit the bill. That was until Thing in the Ice was spoiled.


Thing in the Ice: Ahh yes the title card of the deck, the glue that holds it all together. It’s a pretty decent wall to give you time to build resources and grind out advantage. Late game it flips clearing the board and providing a devastating clock that must be answered. All in all, Thing in the Ice is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Snapcaster Mage, Vendilion Clique and Venser, Shaper Savant: These guys are best buds with Thing in the Ice. They all have enters the battlefield abilities so you don’t mind having them bounce back to your hand when the big guy flips. Snapcaster even pulls double duty by helping you cast more spells to get Thing in the Ice to flip in the first place.

Thassa, God of the Sea: Honestly if Thassa never turns into a creature she is still worth the slot. Scrying every turn as well as a way to give unblockable to Thing in the Ice is more than worth it. That being said, should you find yourself wanting a 5/5 indestructible beater you won’t have any trouble turning her on with all the blue pips in this deck.

Non-Creature Permanents

Jace, the Mind Sculptor: Honestly if you are playing a blue based control deck and you are not running papa Jace you are doing it wrong. It’s that simple. There have already been thousands of words written about how good Jace is so I will keep it brief. His ultimate wins the game on its own. He can either scry or fateseal your opponent with his +2. He can protect himself from creatures with his -1. Most importantly though he can Brainstorm every turn with his +0 ability which is unfreaking-believably-amazing!!! Like seriously he gets to play Brainstorm, one of the most broken and powerful cards in legacy. Every. Single. Turn.

Back to Basics: The lesser known blue Blood Moon, this card is some spice all on its own. While not as devastating as Blood Moon this card will still get you plenty of free wins against all the greedy mana bases in Legacy.

Sword of Fire and Ice: Sometimes your Snapcasters and Vendilion Cliques need a little extra punch in order to stay relevant late game. Sword is a great way to keep your creatures scary in the red zone as well as providing some card draw and much needed targeted removal.


Ponder and Brainstorm: It’s a blue deck—what did you expect? These are the best way to find what you need as well as take counters off Thing in the Ice. They are also great targets for Snapcaster Mage. Nothing to see here, move along.

Force of Will, Counterspell, Spell Pierce, and Spell Snare: Once again it’s a blue deck, you counter stuff, it’s kind of what you are expected to do.  The real question some of you might be asking is why no Daze? That’s a good question imaginary voice in my head. The answer of course is the same reason why Miracles does not run Daze. If we were going for a tempo deck with Wasteland, Stifle, and Delver we would want Daze. But instead we are a mid to late game control deck and Daze falls off pretty quick for us.

Cryptic Command: FOUR CRYPTIC COMMAND!?!?! WHAT KIND OF MODERN DECK IS THIS! I know what you’re thinking but just hear me out! We are a control deck so getting to four mana is no problem and three blue in the casting cost is irrelevant for a mono blue deck.  It’s another hard counter spell which is exactly what we need in this deck. It draws cards and can tap down an army of blockers so our team can swing for lethal. Most important of all is the key phrase “Return target PERMANENT to its owner’s hand”. Sometimes your opponent will be able to sneak something important past your wall of counter magic. When that happens you will be glad you are packing four copies of Cryptic Command as they are your only way to answer a resolved threat.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, I have not yet had a chance to sleeve this list up. Thing in the Ice was ridiculously overpriced all throughout spoiler season. Now that it has settled down into a reasonable range I find myself deep in testing for GP Columbus. Once the GP is over though I can’t wait to jam this list at my local legacy FNM. What I also enjoy about this list is the ease in which it can port over into Modern. Force of Will becomes Remand or Mana Leak, Brainstorm and Ponder turns into Serum Visions and Gitaxian probe. Papa Jace morphs into his smaller cousin Vryns Prodigy and Back to Basics can become whatever tickles your fancy in the pool of Modern legal spice (Vedalken Shackles = <3). If the itch becomes too great I may have to sleeve up the Modern version to hold me over.

Until next time remember, the salt of your opponent’s tears is the best spice of all!

Jerry Mee is a Boston Native who has been playing Magic since Onslaught Block. Primarily a Legacy player, he cohosts the weekly Leaving a Legacy Podcast found on He can be reached on Twitter at @Jmee3rd

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.