Mark Rosewater, Magic head designer and weekly column writer, in many different occasions wrote about R&D will of creating the fewest number of cards that break the color pie. While I think this is a great decision, I don't understand what they are doing with blue creatures.

Blue has been since the beginning one of the strongest colors, providing card advantage, cantrips and counterspells; the drawback was having access to really bad creatures, most of which had a really high casting cost and some important drawbacks (I'm speaking of the days in which Serendib Efreet was banned for being too good).

In the last few years we have seen so many strong low casting cost blue creatures that have become format defining: Delver of Secrets is a staple in Legacy, is used in Vintage, Pauper and in few decks in Modern; despite some great graveyard hate card, Snapcaster Mage is widely used in Modern, Legacy and Vintage decks; with the print of Commander 2013 the CC3 slot has been filled with True-Name Nemesis, which has risen Esper and Patriot has some of the best decks in Legacy.

These awesome creatures in Legacy are used in decks that have access to the best cantrips ever printed (Brainstorm, Ponder, Preordain), the best counterspells available (Force of Will, Daze, Counterspell), one of the best plainswalkers (Jace, the Mind Sculpture): I think that the R&D team has pushed too far this color, making it way better than the others.

Why creating great blue creatures is considered acceptable and making a green counter, a white bolt, a black cantrip and a red mana accelerator considered breaking the color pie?!

  • 5
    Are you trying to ask about the color pie, or about the strength of blue? "Why is blue so good?" isn't really a color pie issue. (Side note: maybe you know more than me, but I think other colors get played competitively too.) The color pie is about what types of effects and abilities and attributes belong on cards of each color. I'm not sure that making a good blue creature is inherently breaking the color pie. Snapcaster Mage, for example, clearly fits into blue's slice of the color pie. The fact that it's really good and also a creature doesn't change that.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 25 '14 at 0:53
  • 2
    Don't know how to answer this in a stack-exchange appropriate way.. hmmm. I would say neither of those is a "Good Creature" It's a good blue ability that happens to be on a body. Would "Snapcast 1U Instant - Target spell in your graveyard gains flashback and up to one target creature opponent controls becomes blocked." be so much worse? or probably played almost as much?
    – Affe
    Jan 25 '14 at 1:01
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    Exactly - you're drastically oversimplifying the color pie if you think blue's slice is "no creatures here should see competitive play." Much more accurate, though still an oversimplification, would be "blue's creatures aren't that awesome for winning via combat in a creature-heavy deck." So... are you trying to ask "how do these creatures fit into blue's part of the color pie?", or "is blue overpowered, and if so, why?"
    – Cascabel
    Jan 25 '14 at 1:13
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    Delver of Secrets requires a spell-heavy deck, a very blue thing, to be good. As Affe said, Snapcaster Mage's value is all in doing tricky things with spells, still very blue. True-Name Nemesis... well, I'm no designer, but protection from a player sounds blue or white to me. If you're actually asking about the color pie, that's probably a partial answer. But I get the idea that you're asking about blue's power level.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 25 '14 at 1:19
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    ...so that leaves Delver of Secrets. While that is a very strong creature early on, it's only so in a spell heavy deck. It's not out of line.
    – ikegami
    Jan 25 '14 at 2:58

Simple: "really bad creatures" isn't part of Blue's slice of the color pie. It's not part of any slice. Thus, making good creatures doesn't violate the color pie, especially not when those creatures' abilities are already very color-appropriate.

  • 1
    Note that Snapcaster is NOT color-appropriate. Giving flashback to a spell is a Red-only ability. Colorpie wise it should have been blue-red or mono red without flash.
    – Autar
    Feb 7 '14 at 10:19
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    @Autar I'm not sure what makes you think it's Red-only. MTGSalvation's list of cards that grant Flashback has a whole four cards: two red, one blue/black, one Snapcaster Mage. In fact, prior to Innistrad (which introduced both Snapcaster Mage and one of those reds simultaneously), there was only one red card and one blue/black card that granted Flashback. One card of two prior cards, and two cards of four in total, is hardly enough to declare it as Red-only. Jul 14 '14 at 7:15
  • @Autar Snapcaster Mage is also an invitational card. Mar 27 '19 at 11:58

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