Q: "Every color has an enchantment that helps with cycling; red has Lighting Rift, black has Withering Hex, and white, of course, has Astral Slide. Even green has one (Invigorating Boon) yet blue doesn't have one even though it has some cards with cycling. Is there a reason as to why blue lacks a cycling enchantment? Was it a mistake or was it left out on purpose?"
--Michael Scipione, San Diego, CA
A: From Mike Elliott, R&D senior designer:
"Things are not always what they seem, and cycles are not always cut out the same way every time. In the past, we have done some very bizarre and loosely connected 'cycles,' such as the Urza's Saga lands--Gaea's Cradle, Tolarian Academy, Shivan Gorge, Phyrexian Tower, and Serra's Sanctum. To the casual untrained eye, that cycle may look like three cards that act the same way and two other random cards, but it is actually a cycle. We are often 'clever' that way.
"Sometimes we decide one color will be very good at something and it will not get access to something that might normally be made into a cycle. For instance, in Odyssey, a conscious decision (Yes, we do make those occasionally) was made to not put any threshold cards into blue. However, we gave blue the majority of the threshold helper cards to compensate for leaving it out of a major block mechanic under the theory that this would promote blue as a support color, since we often worry that blue is not getting played enough. So back to Onslaught. While blue is often considered the card-manipulation color because of various effects like Catalog and Cephalid Looter, we did not make any decision for blue to be the heavy cycling color. What happened here is the cycle is not enchantments that had an effect when something was cycled, the cycle was just five uncommon cards that have an effect when cards were cycled. It just happened to work out that four of them ended up being enchantments. Blue's entry to the cycle, you ask? Why, Fleeting Aven, of course."