This is the Blue Deck’s MOMENT OF TRUTH

Moment of Truth from March of the Machine

  • Card Name: Moment of Truth
  • Mana Cost: 1U
  • Card Type: Instant
  • Rules Text: Look at the top three cards of your library. Put one of the cards into your hand, one into your graveyard, and one on the bottom of your library.
  • Illustrated by: Rovina Cai

Cut Impulse for Moment of Truth

Impulse was first printed in 1997’s Visions. Since then, it has been a favorite card of Yours Truly… And like everyone! Impulse was a Staple from the moment it debuted. It helped to hold together Mike Long’s Pro Tour Paris Prosperity-Bloom deck… Essentially the first combo deck of its kind, which won the first Pro Tour on foreign soil.

Impulse won in combo. Impulse won in control. It even helped to innovate whole new lines of theory, like Alan Comer’s Xerox, or my own Investment.

Today in Premodern, Impulse continues to contribute to performing decks; despite head-to-head tension with cards like Accumulated Knowledge. Impulse is better at digging for specific cards when your back is against the wall… like Wrath of God. Impulse also shines when you need to assemble a two-card combination, like Phyrexian Dreadnought + Stifle, before the opposing beatdown kills you. On balance, Accumulated Knowledge is better at bulk card advantage over long games.

When Impulse was reprinted in Dominaria United, it quickly found a home in the Mono-Blue deck. After all… It did a lot of what that deck wanted. If you leave your mana open for Make Disappear but your opponent doesn’t bite, you still have something to do. It fills the graveyard for Tolarian Terror and Haughty Djinn… Or finds Tolarian Terror or Haughty Djinn to begin with. Impulse is kinda sorta perfect in that deck.

So I say: Cut it.

Now is the Moment for an Upgrade

What gives?

Why cut a card with the pedigree of Impulse from a deck where it’s perfectly situated?

Simple: We can do better.

At least: We can do better for this deck.

If the argument were about digging for Wrath of God under pressure? Impulse surely digs one deeper for the same mana. If we were talking about a combo deck? The difference between three and four can be the difference between assembling your combo and failing to assemble your combo.

But in Standard Mono-Blue, what we are often talking about is how many instants and sorceries we can get in our graveyard. Impulse puts one in, every time… The Impulse itself. Moment of Truth digs a little less deep, but importantly, can potentially double that number.

You always put two cards in the graveyard with Moment of Truth. If we can make one of them an instant or sorcery, that makes Tolarian Terror a turn faster. That might halve the clock time on Haughty Djinn. I’m not arguing Moment of Truth is better than Impulse… But it certainly seems better when paired specifically with these two elite creatures.

What might a “Moment of Truth” Mono-Blue deck look like?

Here’s mine:

March of the Machine actually provides a number of small upgrades to Mono-Blue’s Staples. Like…

  • Assimilate Essence over Essence Scatter – While not “unconditional” as Essence Scatter was, Assimilate Essence gives the deck additional resistance to the popular new Battles out of March of the Machine.
  • Change the Equation out of the sideboard – This card can hit a large number of expensive red or green threats… Though notably neither Etali, Primal Conqueror nor Atraxa, Grand Unifier (you know, ones you might really want to hit). Still it’s mana efficient and pretty flexible. Change the Equation is no Lithomantic Barrage, though.

On that last note, if there is a threat to Mono-Blue’s viability in Standard, it’s just the existence of Lithomantic Barrage! But still, we were able to ladder up with it.

Let me know what you think about the games:


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