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Goldfish Gladiators: Mono-Blue Winds (Magic Arena)

Welcome to Goldfish Gladiators, a new series with a twist: rather than taking place on Magic Online, Goldfish Gladiator is focused on Magic Arena. If you aren't familiar with Magic Arena, it's the next digital Magic client (currently in beta). While Magic Arena will eventually have normal Standard just like paper and Magic Online, it has a unique format right now, highlighted by the lack of Kaladesh block and a best-of-one (no sideboards) tournament structure, which means deck building is slightly different (so you probably don't want to build today's deck card-for-card on Magic Online or in paper).

So far, we've had two Goldfish Gladiators decks, and both have been pretty expensive. One of the biggest requests has been to have more budget-friendly decks, and while Goldfish Gladiators won't be a budget series (it's really hard to build budget decks on Magic Arena), this goal this week was to play a deck that's at least a little bit easier for players on the free-to-play grind to put together. The end result is a zero-mythic, 14-rare build of Mono-Blue Winds! The basic idea of the deck is simple: play a ton of fliers and a bit of disruption and try to kill the opponent quickly before they get a chance to leverage their more powerful (and expensive) rares and mythics. How does Mono-Blue Winds work in Arena? Can we find success without any mythics? Let's get to the video and find out; then, I'll have some brief thoughts on the deck!

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Goldfish Gladiators: Mono-Blue Winds (MTG Arena)


  • As for the record, we finished our quick constructed 4-3. While this isn't a great record, if you can go 4-3 (or better) consistently on Magic Arena, you'll slowly build a collection for free (since at four wins, you get back your entry fee plus some cards).
  • The games broke down pretty neatly: we won every game where we won the die roll and lost every game where we lost the die roll. While I don't think the difference between playing first or second would really be that dramatic over a larger sample size, the deck is much more powerful on the play than on the draw. 
  • As far as playing the deck, it's essentially a straightforward aggro deck. You look to curve out, keep attacking, and hopefully kill the opponent before they kill you. Having a bit of bounce and Lookout's Dispersal allows for some defensive plays in a pinch, but more often that not, we're looking to use our spells to protect our creatures and keep forcing through damage.
  • One change you should probably make to the deck is playing Curious Obsession rather than Chart a Course. This is one of the situations where the unique metagame in Arena changes the card choices. I've found Chart a Course to be a superior option in standard because it minimizes the chances of being blown out by a removal spell and guarantees drawing two cards (assuming we have an attacker, which we usually do). On the other hand, since Fatal Push isn't on Magic Arena, it's a lot less likely that the creature you try to enchant with Curious Obsession will get killed in response, and considering the aggressive lean of the metagame, the extra damage is often more relevant on Magic Arena than in Standard. So, rather than spending your wildcards on Chart a Course, spend them on Curious Obsession instead. 
  • Speaking of wildcards, as I mentioned in the intro, Mono-Blue Winds has zero mythics and 14 rares. Of the 14 rares, eight are pretty much must-haves (the four copies of Tempest Djinn, which is the best card in the deck, and the four copies of Warkite Marauder for curve purposes, since there isn't a good two-drop replacement). On the other hand, you can definitely get by without Nimble Obstructionist if you are short on wildcards. While it's not the optimal option for the slot, Siren Reaver is a reasonable replacement at the uncommon rarity, and Siren Lookout is a bad-but-technically-functional replacement at common. The same is true of the two Dreamcaller Sirens. While they are good in the deck, they can be replaced with Siren Reaver, Siren Lookout, or more bounce / removal / counters if you are a bit light on rare wildcards. 
  • So, should you play Mono-Blue Winds on Magic Arena? I think the deck is a pretty reasonable no-mythic deck, especially if you change Chart a Course to Curious Obsession. While I'm not sure how often it will get seven wins, with practice and tuning, hitting four or five wins consistently seems very possible, and that's all you really need to start getting rares and mythics as your reward and start building a collection that allows you to play higher-tier / more expensive decks!


Anyway, that's all for today. Goldfish Gladiators will be back next week! Until then, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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