Classifying Xerox vs Big Blue (and other blue decks)

I’m working on a complete meta breakdown of the 2018 season of Romancing The Stones, and have had a few issues classifying the various blue decks. Does anyone have tips on defining traits to look for in classifying Xerox vs Big Blue? Alternatively, I’d love to see some suggested lists of major Blue archetypes and what they encompass.

(I was thinking that Big Blue is maybe blue decks with a full suite of Moxen, though that would include shit like PO and Oath. Alternatively, maybe it’s the presence of Mana Drain, though I feel like some Xerox decks can play Drain.)

This is super subjective, but I would call anything with at least 2 mana drains, 4 or more plainswalkers, and 23 or more mana sources big blue.

I've always thought Xerox runs a lower mana count/curve and uses alot of cantrips like Preordain and inherently is tempo oriented, as to where big blue relies on Solomoxen and packs more than 18 lands and usually curves out at 4cmc or higher and leans more towards control.

Xerox - preordain and other cantrips function as part of the mana base. Does not run more than 6 artifact mana sources and often less. Traditionally gush pillar.

Big Blue - runs both full artifact mana and broken win cons. Mana = moxen lotus ring crypt, maybe vault. Win cons = tinker, vault/key, tendrils. Would include po but if people complain about specific cards, we break them out for meta analysis. Part of former drain pillar. Would put Oath in here if you were inclined

Blue Control - runs Drain and/or full artifact mana package but a more fair win con. Ex land still. Uw bomber man. Various walker control decks.

This is how we broke it down . It’s neve perfect but figure out what your purpose is then do the bed you can.

Xerox tops out at paying three mana for a spell (and will convert extra lands into virtual card advantage with Dack). Big blue goes bigger.

@spook not true...many xerox decks have played jace. Brian Kelly would play random dragons and I would add whatever walker I thought was interesting at a particular moment. The decks fundamentally functioned similar to other xerox decks with their consistency. They just won the game differently.

Edit: the core principle of xerox has been consistency. You don’t flood or screw because your cantrips smooth out your draws, facilitating either a control or aggro-control (tempo) game plan. It’s based on a historical reference to decks with lots of cantrips that were cheap to make and therefore easy to copy or “xerox”. Personally I dislike the term because it’s obscure, nondescript, and based on an advanced concept - most players think along simpler lines in deck classification like “is this card in the deck?” such as Oath or PO or Shops.

last edited by Guest

Thanks guys - this was super helpful. Obviously there's some disagreement and gray areas, but I think I've got the right idea.

  • 7
  • 3223