Quote from Al_Z_Heimer »Quote from Humphrey01 »Impulse seems outclassed by Omen of the SeaThis made me wonder, now that we have discussed counters, how would all of you rank blue noncreature Card advantage draw (2+) and manipulation? I count them together in this case, because many of our card advantage draw spells also provide manipulation (e.g. Scry).
A short list of the top of my mind about the relevant contenders:
Brainstorm, Compulsive Research, Deep Analysis, Foresee/Tamiyo's Epiphany, Gush, Omen of the Sea, Impulse, Opt, Preordain, Portent, Ponder, Rain of Revelation, Radical Idea, Rush of Knowledge, Scour All Possibilities, Serum Visions, Think Twice, Treasure Cruise, Winged Words, Witching Well
Quote from Humphrey01 »Impulse seems outclassed by Omen of the Sea
Quote from Cobble »Preordain - The best 1 mana cantrap in this format.
Treasure Cruise - You do need things to go to your graveyard and has anti-synergy with Gurmag Angler, but the 3 card windfall is massive.
Deep Analysis - Would be the ranked higher if burn/aggro decks weren't so strong.
Rush of Knowledge - If you play this right, you can win from the card advantage generated by this card. Be wary of Terminate in response.
Impulse - Best 2 mana card selection spell available.
Serum Visions - The power is dispersed into the next turn, rather than as upfront dig. Still if you play this early this downside is almost entirely negated.
Ponder - Significantly worse than Preordain because of the lack of shuffle when you see good card-land-land. Stronger at dig which puts Ponder above its peers.
Brainstorm - The value of Brainstorm card spikes if you have drafted Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse and Ash Barrens. Shuffling away two cards is powerful. Seeing 3 cards is useful when you need to find an answer in response to a big threat, but I don't like the feeling of drawing cards I've already seen.
Compulsive Research - Best 3 mana draw.
Gitaxian Probe - Depending on the match up, strong or marginal. When the 2 life doesn't matter then seeing your opponents hand is a powerful move. When the life matters, you'll probability find an opportunity for cast this for 1 blue, and then you'll know how doomed you are. Depending on the types of spells you are holding depends on the value of the information.
Opt - Helps slightly increase your card filtering so you can more reliably find what you are looking for when you need it. Being instant speed helps this card a lot.
Portent - Drawing next upkeep would be a deal breaker, except for one important detail: you can look at the top three cards of an opponent's library.
Hieroglyphic Illumination - Cycling for 1 blue makes this card quite decent. You can trade it in much sooner for a card than any of the 2 mana or more cards. I highly recommend cycling this card when possible because that's where the power is. Drawing two cards for 4 mana is way behind curve. The blue deck that runs Hieroglyphic Illumination wants to see as much of its library as soon as possible.
Rain of Revelation - A strong 4 mana instant.
Foresee - This is a huge play for 4 mana because you can see up to six cards. You need to tap out for it, so I'd probably want to play this in a removal heavy shell, so either Black, Red or White. I don't think a Blue heavy build has much use for a card like this.
See Beyond - I really prefer cheap cards in blue decks and being able to put away an Ulamog's Crusher or a land when you don't need those cards means See Beyond generates virtual card advantage.
Scour All Possibilities The flashback is ok. The regular cast is ok. I don't think I'll often have a spare 5 mana floating around, unless I'm ahead and holding countermagic mana.
Omen of the Sea - Alright dig. This card feels very cuttable, but if I need a bit of glue to keep my deck together I'd run it.
Winged Words - 2 mana draw two cards feels a little too good to be true. Midgame you should be able to get the discount. I think this won't be cast on turn 2.
Anticipate - Instant speed chose one in three for 2 mana is so-so. Solidly middle of the pack, but I wouldn't be that inclined to play it.
Shimmer of Possibility - The dig means I want to play this only if a couple of my cards are significantly stronger than the rest. Digging for Guardian of the Guildpact seems alright.
Gush - Returning 2 Islands for 2 cards is too steep, because I wouldn't want to do that for any reason in the first several turns. This card is pretty broken not in a singleton common draft. The synergies to make use of Gush are few and far between.
Think Twice - Cuttable even in self mill decks.
Witching Well - No upfront card draw. 4 mana to draw two is bad unless there is an alternative. This is the kind of card that's worth watching because when there are enough decent cheap artifacts, the artifact matters cards really shine.
Radical Idea - Drawing one for 2 mana isn't a deal I'm inclined to make. Discarding a card for an extra draw doesn't make up for the lack of mana efficiency.
Divination - This is what mediocre card draw looks like. If you are looking for card advantage it almost always is worth looking elsewhere.
Bonus drawspell: Pieces of the Puzzle. Can get up to 2 relevant spells as well as fuel the graveyard. Very strong in the right deck, however you need to reach a critical mass of instants and sorceries in order for this card to function properly.
Quote from Al_Z_Heimer »@Cobble:
Thank you for taking the time to write such a long response. Something I want to discuss though:
Winged Words: Very rarely you want to cast card draw on turn 2. The only spot where you would want to do this if you kept a 2 land hand and are about to miss your 3rd land drop. Card draw is usually the last thing you want to cast from your hand, when you no longer have anything else to play, so the drawback of not casting it turn 2 seems really negligible. I didn't realise it, when the set was first released, but 16 out of my 27 blue creatures fly anyway, so this is pretty consistent.
Witching Well: I think this card is better, the more I think about it, than people (including me) have realised, when it was realeased. It's basically Inspiration/Hieroglyphic Illumination with Scry 2, for no additional cost if you play it on turn 1. The fact that the draw effect is instant speed makes this really solid. I'm not so high on Foresee nowadays, because it can be really hard to take a turn off to resolve this.
Quote from Humphrey01 »Gush often enough reads: Draw2, gain U. Returning Islands is only a drawback if you have your landdrops.
Quote from Humphrey01 »"5+ costs of surgeries" ?
Quote from Night_Hydra »The usual culprits
Night's Whisper Read the Bones Sign in Blood
Slower, and costlier
Bitter Revelation Dark Bargain
Also, Death Denied is as close to Stroke of Genius as we get. Not a perfect analogy, but X-spell with major threat.
Quote from Cobble »Card draw is a rare sight in Black.