Counterbalance

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Casual Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Masterpiece Series: Amonkhet Invocations (AKHMPS) Common
Coldsnap (CSP) Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Counterbalance

Enchantment

Whenever an opponent plays a spell, you may reveal the top card of your library. If you do, counter that spell if it has the same converted mana cost as the revealed card.

Counterbalance Discussion

SideBae on

1 month ago

So before I get to suggestions, I want to mention that I think your deck is beautiful. I love the idea of getting the whole thing painted... looks great so far.

  1. I think you should consider Mystic Remora . It may take you a while to get your general down, and Mystic Remora can keep your opponents from playing long enough for you to build up some mana. Or, if they're inexperienced, it can easily be an Ancestral Recall .

  2. You should consider running some more mana-dorks -- they're the main reason to run green, since they'll speed you up like crazy. Deathrite Shaman and Birds of Paradise are the best ones (so crops for running them) but I'd also run things like Elves of Deep Shadow , Fyndhorn Elves and Arbor Elf . Note that using things like Wild Growth and Utopia Sprawl will get Arbor Elf to tap for two mana.

  3. I think Nature's Lore is probably better than your Kodama's Reach . I say this because, with 36 lands, you'll usually already have a land in hand when you cast Kodama's Reach , making the to-hand tutor effect less potent. Also, Nature's Lore is two mana and searches an untapped (and not necessarily basic) land, meaning it is effectively one mana on the turn you cast it. If you want to get spicy, Three Visits is a functional reprint for a lot more money.

  4. You may wish to consider Life from the Loam and/or Ramunap Excavator redundant Crucible of Worlds es. I've had good success with both, not least because artifact-removal is frequently harder to dodge than creature-removal in EDH metas.

  5. Sultai colors have a lot of room for disruption. Two favorites of mine are Narset, Parter of Veils and Ashiok, Dream Render . (I honestly think War of the Spark was a mistake.) Both of these cards prohibit your opponents from taking very common actions in Magic, meaning they pin down most decks very well. Worth noting is that Narset, Parter of Veils also builds card advantage, and Ashiok, Dream Render doubles as graveyard hate. If you pair Windfall with Narset, Parter of Veils , you can win on the spot; same is true with your Notion Thief .

  6. Depending on your meta, Carpet of Flowers and Compost may be worth considering. Most metas are at lest 40% blue, at a table of four you'll usually get good value out of Carpet of Flowers . Black is the second most powerful color, so Compost is also frequently useful.

  7. I'm assuming control is a large element of this deck -- have you considered Counterbalance ? You've already got Sensei's Divining Top , Brainstorm and Scroll Rack to make it good.

  8. I've never been a fan of Palinchron -loops for infinite mana, since the card seems way more expensive than infinite-mana loops need to be. I think the current best infinite mana combo available is Dramatic Reversal on Isochron Scepter while you have more than 2 mana in rocks or dorks out, and Power Artifact on Grim Monolith also works. Note that Dramatic Reversal is fetchable with your Spellseeker , and that the artifacts are way easier to tutor than creatures (see Whir of Invention , Transmute Artifact , Fabricate , Reshape and friends).

  9. If you don't want to go artifact-heavy, I suggest running more dorks and putting in some artifact hate. Both Null Rod and Collector Ouphe are frequently one-card-wins.

  10. There're a few piece of interaction I think you're missing. Force of Negation is an A card, and Veil of Summer is an easy A+. Nature's Claim is an excellent piece of spot removal; notably, it is stopped by Mental Misstep , which I also think you should run. A mana-free counter for Sol Ring s and Swords to Plowshares es is pretty good, especially with such a 'KILL ME' general. I also think Toxic Deluge is frequently better than Damnation , since it offers more selection with what to kill and can still be cast with Gaddock Teeg on the board.

  11. Lim-Dul's Vault is a tutor to consider.

  12. I'm not sure, but Null Profusion and Recycle seem pretty dumb in this deck. Damia, Sage of Stone will get around the 'skip draw step' clause pretty well.

  13. Finally, Windgrace's Judgment and Casualties of War are good ways to get multi-for-ones in your colors. I've had more luck with Windgrace's Judgment (if only because it's an instant), but both may be worth trying.

Good luck!

lagotripha on Azorious Kefnet Turns

1 month ago

Mystic Sanctuary + Trade Routes is dope too, and in a 'put it on top of your library' list works wonders. Counterbalance also keeps looking better.

TheMazter13 on Esper control

1 month ago

If you're gonna run Counterbalance , Sensei's Divining Top for sure. Spin the top in response to the counterbalance trigger, rearrange your cards to find correct CMC, then counter a spell pretty reliably

Probably cut Isochron Scepter , don't think it does enough. It hits Counterspell , Cyclonic Rift , and Lim-Dul's Vault . It also hits Enlightened Tutor , but who cares you're already finding enchantments with Zur. Probably the only good card to hit is Silence which just reads "Pay : Opponent can't play Magic", but only in a 2 player game. In 3+ players, it just picks on one player, which could be good, but I don't think that's what control is getting at.

Rings of Brighthearth does actual nothing besides making mana with Basalt Monolith , but even mana in this deck does nothing

Don't think Sheoldred, Whispering One does much apart from sacrifice for opponents. While powerful, her first ability doesn't do much. You could play Dictate of Erebos or, for cheaper, Attrition or Grave Pact . They all pretty much do the same things, but your creatures do have to die. However, you could play Bitterblossom (In place of your Rings of Brighthearth for example) to make creatures that can not only attack, but be fuel for a sac fire

If you want to get more Tax / Stax -y you could play Rest in Peace over one of your do-nothing unblockable things cough Aether Tunnel Cough

Throw in some card advantage with Necropotence but also some card disadvantage with Helm of the Ghastlord . It's not 3 mana, but by god does it do wonders for hand sizes and for commander damage

Rumpuslord on *Primer* Alela, Fast and Furious

1 month ago

How consistent have you found Counterbalance to be? Also might I recommend Abjure as a potential counterspell considering your faeries are blue?

Demarge on Mystic Crucible of Aeons (Idea in progress)

1 month ago

you are already running a splash of white, why not shore up some of your weaknesses of creature based threats that can get under your counters and run the miracle Terminus . a single Entreat the Angels would also function pretty well as a finisher spell as even with just one angel you will be able to kill the opponent pretty quickly with a few extra turns.

Hmm while brain is stuck thinking on the legacy miracles (though modern miracles just recently did a thing) Counterbalance seems kinda funny to try out, I almost wanna see cracking a fetch land to get a sanctuary to put the right cmc spell on top.

ulysses2009 on Necropotence with Counterbalance

1 month ago

If i play the known Counterbalance + Sensei's Divining Top -Lock, can i, in response to Counterbalance triggering (for example in an opponents turn), go through my deck by looking and ordering the top 3 cards with Sensei's Divining Top to then exile any number of them with Necropotence and repeat this process until i find a card with corresponding CMC (or run out of mana or life)?

I don't know who gets priority at a given time and whether i can add the new ability on the stack repeatedly every time after the first one resolved.

Hope you can help me with that :)

SideBae on Alela, control-aggro

2 months ago

Hey! So I have some suggestions: feel free to ignore any/all of them.

  1. There's a reason Ponder and Preordain are banned in Modern, and it's because they're stupid-good cards. Being able to dig you to what you need and past what you don't for one blue mana is a REALLY powerful effect, even if the cards themselves may not look as powerful as they are. I highly suggest including them. I like that you're already running Brainstorm , though I think running two+ more fetches would be ideal; you don't want to get locked with two dead cards on top of your deck.

  2. I do not think Path to Exile is good in EDH. Ramping your opponent in a format with everyone trying to do busted things is rarely anything short of a bad idea, and is frequently dangerous. (Note that your Ashiok, Dream Render does not stop opponents searching off YOUR spells.) As I see it, you may be better off just running another card-draw spell, which would dig you to more potent removal; I suggest Painful Truths . Three-mana: draw-three is a hard rate to beat, and I've been very impressed with it in my Tasigur, the Golden Fang list.

  3. You have some good artifact ramp, but I think it can be improved. I really like that all your rocks are two or less mana -- three-mana mana-rocks are simply not good enough a lot of the time, especially with a four-mana commander. Unfortunately, a lot of the best ramp in EDH is very expensive: Mana Crypt and Mox Diamond come to mind. I do have some other suggestions though. Consider at least a few of the following: Talisman of Dominance , Talisman of Hierarchy , Talisman of Progress , Fellwar Stone (which is admittedly a worse Arcane Signet , but still good), Mind Stone , Everflowing Chalice and/or Thought Vessel .

  4. Whir of Invention is a card you may wish to consider. It can grab your Bolas's Citadel late-game, but more importantly it acts as a to-battlefield tutor for things like your Cursed Totem or Skullclamp . Also, it's instant speed.

  5. If you want to run things like Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite or Consecrated Sphinx , I suggest you think about a reanimation package. In general, these duders will be tough to cast, and being able to cheat them into play will give you a competitive advantage. Entomb and Buried Alive are the best ways to bin your targets (though there are others, like Liliana of the Veil or your maybe-board Frantic Search ), and you can then use spells like Animate Dead , Dance of the Dead , Necromancy , Reanimate or Unburial Rites to profit for less mana than usual. Intuition is a fun (if not cheap) card to pair with Unburial Rites and some reanimation targets, thought the precise pile may be tough to determine. Also, due to your colors, you may even consider Dreams of the Dead . The cumulative upkeep can be tough, but if you run something like Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur then you'll be able to do your damage within a turn-cycle or so, and the upkeep won't matter.

  6. Your mana curve is pretty consistently low. I think you should at least playtest Counterbalance , since you already have the Sensei's Divining Top . Counterbalance does tend to be a high variance card, and it may end up being more of a preference-call than a meta-call. But I like it, so I figured I'd mention it.

  7. I'm not sure how good Hushbringer is, since it stops your Skullclamp from triggering... You may be better off with just a Spirit of the Labyrinth or such.

  8. Depending on how often you get to five mana, Divine Visitation could be a win-condition in itself in this deck. Making a 4/4 every time you cast an artifact or enchantment seems... good.

  9. Mystic Remora is good. In less-experienced metas, it is often an Ancestral Recall ; even if people know that it's better just to wait it out, Mystic Remora will still buy you time to develop your board and make land-drops while opponents try to outlast it. Being one mana was a mistake, but it's here, so what the hell.

Right. That's all I got. Good luck!

SideBae on Shaolin Monks

2 months ago

So, I feel like I should mention that Erayo, Soratami Ascendant / Erayo's Essence is super-duper banned in EDH. If your playgroup is alright with it, keep it in; but be aware that about 95% of players would not be happy.

I suggest replacing it with something like Counterbalance , which works nicely with your Sensei's Divining Top . Also, if your general is on the field, being able to look and see if you want to reveal the top card of your deck to counter a spell is pretty valuable.

Ponder , Preordain and Brainstorm are great in almost every blue deck, but here the top-deck manipulation makes them even better. I suggest including all three.

Mystical Tutor is awesome if your general is on the field, as it becomes a pseudo-tutor-to-hand effect.

Narset, Parter of Veils is a pretty busted card -- she even lets you clear a creature off of the top of your deck if you need it, in addition to her static hate-ability. Pairing her with a Windfall is especially powerful. Faithless Looting is another way to get past uncastable creatures and/or lands.

I've had good success with Treasure Cruise in my Elsha of the Infinite list. Similarly, I think Dig Through Time is probably a better Drawn from Dreams , as it is instant-speed. Other mass-draw spells to consider include: Fact or Fiction , Chemister's Insight , Chart a Course .

If you run only monks and your meta isn't tribal-heavy, Harsh Mercy may be worth including.

Your ramp package has some room for improvement. I've never been impressed with three-mana mana-rocks in EDH, since two-drop rocks are available and tend to be better. I suggest running some of the following instead of your Chromatic Lantern , Commander's Sphere , and a few other cards if you want to make cuts: Talisman of Progress , Talisman of Conviction , Talisman of Creativity , Mind Stone , Thought Vessel , Azorius Signet , Everflowing Chalice (which can be cast for zero off the top, if you really want to get past it), Prismatic Lens , Coldsteel Heart (maybe), Arcane Signet , Fellwar Stone or even Guardian Idol . This has the added bonus of allowing you to cut some lands -- I don't think you should be running more than 34, and probably want to be around 32 or 33.

By Force and Wear / Tear are very good multi-for-ones in EDH... you should at least consider running them.

If you craft your creature-package carefully, you can run effects like Kozilek's Return or Pyroclasm . Keep in mind that these trigger prowess, so your Monastery Mentor will survive a Pyroclasm , assuming you're the one who casts it.

If you can get ahold of one, I think Cyclonic Rift is way preferable to Planar Cleansing . Supreme Verdict is another excellent boardwipe.

Counterspells are tough in Elsha of the Infinite , since you can't cast them without a target and thus can clog the top of your deck. To fix this, try modal counters that can be cast with an empty stack. Some to consider: Pyroblast , Red Elemental Blast , Archmage's Charm , Mystic Confluence , Izzet Charm .

You appear to do very little library-searching. You can take advantage of this with Mindlock Orb , which punishes tutor-tribal decks (decks anything like the ones I build and play against) hard.

Steel of the Godhead is, I think, better than your Aether Tunnel . It does cost one more mana, but it gives Elsha of the Infinite lifelink, which means it can likely also replace Basilisk Collar and free up a card-slot.

Alright. That's all I got. Good luck!

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Counterbalance occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.01%