Welcome to the second article for Garbage Fire Generals! In this article, I’ll be analyzing one of the least popular Mono Blue Commanders – Lu Su, Wu Advisor.
Ah, blue. One of the most comforting colors. There’s always something about having that security of blue spells in your hand that just says “this is going to be a fun game of EDH for me personally.”
Lu Su, Wu Advisor is a very old card with an ability that’s not entirely terrible. Sure, most of the time you want much more flexibility as to when you draw a card, but he at least draws you a card, and what more could you want out of blue? And sure, Azami costs the same and lets you not only tap to draw a card at any time but also get value out of ALL your wizards, but is she an Advisor? No, she is not. She’s just a boring wizard.
I had a lot of thoughts about this card. Not all of them were cohesive or nice. As soon as I found out he was actually an Advisor, I decided to add a small Advisor tribal theme, which I’ll get to later. For now, let’s focus on Lu Su himself and his specific abilities.
Wanna know a color that’s good at untapping things? That’s right, it’s Baby Blue. Everything from a tiny Cerulean Wisps to a repeatable Galvanic Alchemist will work here to untap Lu Su for more draw power.
Artifacts also have plenty of options, from the single target Magewright’s Stone to the full in Paradox Engine (possibly one of my favorite cards from Kaladesh).
What do we do with all those cards getting drawn? How on earth do we win a game in mono blue with so many cards in our hands? Maybe Laboratory Maniac can help us out. Or Aeon Chronicler. Jushi Apprentice // Tomoya the Revealer can be an interesting win-more (and what is EDH without win mores?).
Meishin, the Mind Cage is a great way to calm down your opponent’s angriest creatures. Descendant of Soramaro can arrange the cards of our library. Or we can just have our Brine Seer stare at our opponent, scaring them off from even trying to cast spells with his unnerving eyes.
There’s also plenty of blue cards that reward the card draw trigger itself. Archmage Ascension turns card draw into tutoring. Chasm Skulker gets bigger and can explode into little squids. Sphinx’s Tutelage is great for those going the mill route (good luck).
For artifacts, how about Psychosis Crawler? Or Moonring Mirror just in case you run out of good cards in hand?
At this point, we’re definitely toeing the line between building a Lu Su deck and building a Mono Blue Goodstuff deck. Maybe more than toeing. Which brings me back to my original idea for a tribal advisor deck.
The (Tribal) Cards
Searching up mono blue advisors has taught me a lot of things. It taught me that Civilized Scholar is an Advisor, a fact I never noticed after years of playing the card. It reminded me that you can’t technically play Civilized Scholar in this deck because it flips to red, a fact that made me sad. However, all is not lost, and there are plenty of mono-blue advisors that actually work with our already established themes of rewarding and abusing card draw.
Council of Advisors draws a card upon entering the battlefield. Lady Sun bounces herself and another creature. Novijen Sages draws you cards by itself. Trusted Advisor is a cheap way to increase your hand size and bounces blue creatures for repeating ETB effects. Zhuge Jin, Wu Strategist is an odd duck here, since we haven’t really dealt with combat in this deck much, but making something unblockable is nothing to sneeze at in any situation.
Finally, there’s Minister of Inquiries, a fairly recent card with an effect you may or may not want to use, since it a) mills in EDH and b) uses energy in a deck not really dedicated to energy. But hey, he’s a one drop.
For a tribal route, you’ll want the right tribal staples. There’s the aforementioned Faces of the Past, which untaps things, something this deck likes to keep tapping for value. In the last article I mentioned Riptide Replicator and Volrath’s Laboratory, both great cards to help supplement a tiny tribe. Now we’re in blue, meaning we have more options, such as Xenograft.
For artifacts, Metallic Mimic could be nice, though it would mainly serve the purpose of being another Advisor. Same with Adaptive Automaton.
Naturally, you’ll want a suite of typical blue good stuff, all depending on what first in your budget. Get your Counterspells, your Cryptic Commands, your Cyclonic Rifts, your Brainstorms, your Sphinxes, your Metamorphs. Navigate your way on a Cruise to waste your opponent’s Time, if you catch my Drift.
For this deck in particular, cards I recommend include Inundate (bounces all things except your creatures), Propaganda (let’s be honest, advisors are scrawny, we have to defend ourselves from stompy somehow), Freed from the Real (another way to untap things), and Morphling (serves as yet another Advisor).
I’d also recommend cards that make it your turn more often in order to get value out of your various advisors that only work on you turn. It turns out one of the easiest things to do in magic is to find blue cards that give extra turns. Jam Capture of Jingzhou, Expropriate, Part the Waterveil, Temporal Mastery… all of these things and more are great ways to really enjoy a game all by yourself.
That concludes this article. I hope that my deck analysis helps you build the Lu Su, Wu Advisor deck you’ve always dreamed of. If this deck isn’t your style, there’s plenty more where that came from in the next article of Garbage Fire Generals.