Ten Counterspells You Should Play in Commander

Ten Counterspells You Should Play in Commander
Ten Counterspells You Should Play in Commander

Kristen breaks down ten nice variations on Counterspell that you have to be making an attempt out in Commander.

For those who’ve been following this column for some time, or if me in any respect, you’ll know that I actually dislike enjoying towards Blue! Blue is every part a fight loving participant dislikes—methods to bounce creatures, methods to keep away from harm (particularly if Inexperienced is concerned), and the nice previous Counterspell. Some say that the perfect protection is an effective offence. Obi-wan Kenobi praises anticipating quite than reacting, and in the end countering a spell in anticipation of the harm it may do is usually higher than letting it resolve.

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At present, I’d prefer to undergo Ten nice variations on the traditional Counterspell that ought to make it into rotation in your EDH decks. Even I decide up Blue infrequently, and once I do, I prefer to be ready. There’s merely no purpose to get enthusiastic about Cancel.

Honorable Mentions

It wouldn’t be honest to have the dialog about countering spells with out mentioning a number of the most format defining playing cards. Drive of Will, Mana Drain, and extra lately Drive of Negation are the premier environment friendly methods to counter spells, requiring both no mana from you, or rewarding you with a tidy portion the next flip.

These are all very playable, explicit in cEDH, the quicker and extra interactive option to play Commander. There’s a giant flaw with them, nevertheless—their price ticket is out of attain for the typical deckbuilder. For the set of three, you’re over $200, and that’s an enormous funding.

Forbid is a card I’m hesitant to suggest. It may be oppressive, particularly in decks with entry to great amount of draw (something Simic, often), and I’ve discovered usually locks one participant out of the sport while the gamers with the extra durdly worth engines have time to arrange their much less attention-seeking items.

Fortunately, we don’t at all times should spring for the “greatest” of something, and there are many choices out there that may counter a spell and provides us a little bit of a bonus too. In no explicit order, listed below are some playing cards you simply should attempt.

Psychological Misstep

One of many causes playing cards like Drive of Will are widespread in Legacy and cEDH is as a result of they’re free. Psychological Misstep is equally free—all it asks is 2 life. While that is undoubtedly going to do extra work in a aggressive and high-budget metagame—one with entry to Mana Vault, for instance —it may nonetheless do work exterior of this. In case your playgroup loves Sol Ring, Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile and the like, this would possibly nonetheless be up your avenue.

Pact of Negation

Pact of Negation is one other “free” spell. This one asks a bit extra, although—you’ll must pay 5 mana at the start of your subsequent maintenance otherwise you’ll lose the sport. For those who encounter plenty of combo decks, or decks that may rapidly get out hand in the event that they resolve a selected spell, then contemplate this Pact. It’ll be your get out of jail free card, so long as you could have 3UU to pay subsequent time you move GO!

Swan Music

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For those who’re not obsessed with both of the primary two playing cards, then let me pique your curiosity as soon as extra. Swan Music is probably probably the most environment friendly counterspell in Commander. For a single Blue, you possibly can counter an instantaneous, sorcery or enchantment. A 2/2 flyer is negligible within the grand scheme of issues, and holding up a single mana for interplay is extremely straightforward to do. You do it on a regular basis for elimination, so why not for Swan Music? Assured to infuriate your opponents.

Glen Elendra Archmage / Kheru Spellsnatcher

Talking of infuriating your opponent, listed below are two creatures that may actually spoil someone’s day. Glen Elendra Archmage might be the cardboard accountable for probably the most groans at tables I sit at, as a result of the gamers resolving them are usually those that Persist doesn’t matter to—they’ll bounce/flicker or in any other case reset the Faerie to make sure they at all times have a counter open for so long as potential.

Kheru Spellsnatcher isn’t fairly as pervasive as Glen Elendra Archmage, nevertheless it does give some actual utility. The power to have this on board and ready can’t be understated, significantly in Morph decks, however the potential to take and recast that spell at no cost is really the icing on the cake. What makes this extra thrilling than, say, Desertion, is that you simply aren’t restricted to the kind of spell you counter. Plus, you aren’t restricted to taking it proper there after which—you possibly can solid it at any time when is most handy, at no cost, even when the Spellsnatcher leaves play.

Arcane Denial

Desertion is unquestionably a “really feel unhealthy” form of spell. Within the instances I’ve run it, I’ve made plenty of enemies—there’s one thing about an opponent countering your spell and taking it proper there after which that basically will get individuals scorching beneath the collar. Counterspells typically can really feel fairly unhealthy for the participant affected, and there’s a political rigidity in how a lot “bullying” you will get away with.

I’ve currently taken to making an attempt Arcane Denial in additional of my decks. While giving an opponent extra playing cards is harmful in cutthroat playgroups, within the extra informal ones Arcane Denial can go a protracted option to appearing as reparations for the crime you’ve dedicated. It additionally replaces itself, which is one thing. Typically a few playing cards is price pacifying a possible mutiny.

Purple Elemental Blast / Pyroblast

Thus far, we’ve highlighted a bunch of playing cards that may actually put a spanner within the works of an opponent’s deck. Now, let’s change tack a bit, and speak about methods to battle again. Blue could be oppressive to battle via for Purple, Boros, or Gruul decks. While Gruul has entry to the unbelievable Vexing Shusher, there’s no substitution for a superb REB at your aspect.

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Pyroblast and Purple Elemental Blast are an important ace up the sleeve when pushing via permission, and in a pinch can destroy an issue everlasting too. One in all my favorite issues to do is seize this from Sunforger and await a response—more often than not, there isn’t one.

Rebuff the Depraved

Talking of issues I like to seize from Sunforger: Rebuff the Depraved. It doesn’t cease triggered or activated talents, however for a single White mana, this factor can typically win video games. Particularly sturdy in decks that favor fight targeted Commanders like Aurelia, the Warleader, this counterspell can save your Commander, her Sword of Feast and Famine, or the Aggravated Assault that’s terrifying the desk. Give it a go someday.

Dovin’s Veto

Dovin’s Veto might be some of the performed Commander playing cards from Battle of the Spark. It’s low-cost, environment friendly and may’t be countered. There’s not way more to it, actually. Counterflux is a superb card, and a bit extra taxing on the manabase, so it’s straightforward to see why this one would see a lot play.

Abstract Dismissal

Maybe my favorite counterspell proper now, Abstract Dismissal is a catch-all reply. It counters un-counterable spells, stops triggers as small as Mulldrifter and as huge as Emrakul, the Promised Finish, and may stop the cascade of worth {that a} participant would possibly nonetheless reap even when their spell is countered. On high of that, it may exile all spells on the stack, which is extremely helpful for stopping combos for good.

Void Shatter

Exile elimination is the perfect form of elimination, and so getting it onto a counterspell could be equally sturdy. Void Shatter will exile a spell that it counters, and has additional copies in Dissipate and Faerie Trickery. In order for you the tribal set off I’d perhaps attempt the latter, however in all different instances I’d desire Void Shatter, because the Devoid rider signifies that playing cards like Purple Elemental Blast received’t work right here. It additionally means you possibly can solid it from the highest of your library with Mystic Forge, when you’re into that type of factor.

Counterspells are an important software in Commander, and together with a few the juicier ones a minimum of in your decks is a good suggestion. It’s potential to overdo it, although—if all you play is permission, you’re not advancing your individual board state; and there’s no means you possibly can sustain with all three opponents.

Recursion is definitely a option to offset this, with playing cards like Everlasting Witness, Archaomancer and extra supplying you with a second shot at saying “Nope!” In case your playgroup is fairly informal, be careful for doing this too usually although. It will probably actually flip individuals off, and even when it’s a good tactic to a sure extent, it is going to make you enemies. Let me know on Twitter what your favourite counterspells are!

Kristen is a lover of each Restricted and Commander, and may most frequently be discovered championing the Boros Legion when referred to as upon to sit down down and shuffle up. Based mostly within the UK, she works as a software program developer, and her love for the Legion is second solely to her appreciation for Lord of the Rings and Mass Impact.

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