Mindbreak Trap

Mindbreak Trap

Instant — Trap

If an opponent cast three or more spells this turn, you may pay {{0}} rather than pay Mindbreak Trap's mana cost.

Exile any number of target spells.

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Trade

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Printings View all

Set Rarity
Zendikar (ZEN) Mythic Rare

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Legality

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

Mindbreak Trap occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.0%

Rules Q&A

Mindbreak Trap Discussion

Tzefick on Pattern Recognition #136 - Counters

5 days ago

I think counter magic is perfectly fine as a concept. It's a way to deal with issues, before they actually become an issue and it examplifies one of blue's main weaknesses: Difficulty in dealing with the board. I used to hate counterspells when I got into Magic again (during Lorwyn, damn Faeries), as they simply seem like a disability to play the game; "I want to play something." - "You may not". I have since accepted their place in the game and their importance.

The reason I still do dislike counter magic is because it exists to provide a strength to cover a weakness. A weakness that since then has been partially filled out by strong answers to the board over the course of Magic's history. One of the main offenders is Cyclonic Rift , especially present in Commander and other multiplayer formats that are significantly slower than Duel Magic (1 on 1). Other offenders are cards that really should be enchantments, but opted for a more nefarious although simpler route: Curse of the Swine and Reality Shift , and their predecessors; Pongify and Rapid Hybridization .

As said by Berry in the article; Blue has the ability to change something from one thing to another. We have also seen various types of such polymorphing done in enchantment form; Darksteel Mutation , Lignify , Frogify . All of this makes perfect sense in what blue is capable of doing.

However doing a change irreversibly like the Curse of the Swine or Reality Shift, is giving hard answers to a color whose weakness is hard answers - at least on the board. Yeah, you replace them with a creature, but a much weaker creature and if a token, one you can permanently remove by having it change zone.


Another issue with counter magic is the tempo shift. The opponent casts a 5 mana spell, you cast a 2-3 mana counter spell. Suddenly there's a disparity of 2-3 mana in the counterspeller's favor. It is mainly equalized because the blue player must have ready mana, resulting in that player not developing their own board state. However that can again be offset by utilizing instant speed spells or abilities that either advance board state or card draw for the blue player.

If the blue player didn't have these chances to apply disparity in mana spent and benefit, the color would struggle to have meaningful strengths, I know that. However the issue is in finding the fine line between how much mana disparity is acceptable. The cat is out of the bag on this one, as there have already been printed numerous versions of unconditional counterspells that have set a precedent for what blue counterspells are allowed to do and how cheaply.


If you compare a counterspell to a destroy spell, the main difference is obviously zone of application and also timing of application. One proactive, one reactive (well actually both are reactive, but you probably know why I have to make a distinction). Reactive spells provide a lot more flexibility in when you're required to use them. Their main problem is that sometimes reactive spells are too late to cause the same mana disparity that a counterspell does. As soon as that permanent hits the battlefield, an ability may come into effect, be it triggered, static or active. A reactive spell cannot avoid that.

Also take into account that blue can deal with any spell in existence, with the possible exception of spells with Split Second, specifically designed to be uninteractive - and still they can be interacted with . If there's a spell that is uncounterable, you can get creative with Venser, Shaper Savant , Time Stop , Mindbreak Trap , Ashiok's Erasure , there's load of ways to get around "uncounterable". Blue is also the color that will straight up see a threat on the board and simply take it for themselves, with Control Magic , Gather Specimens , Blatant Thievery , Expropriate . Effectively a removal, card draw and threat all in one.

No other color can boast the same catch all mechanic. White comes close for something in the same ballpark, but it is still just a bleak imitation - as countermagic goes. And evidently look at that price tag.


In the earlier days of Magic, blue was not the only user of countermagic. I feel like you could provide other colors with more conditional types of countermagic, to better even it out. And not just anti countermagic like Guttural Response . Blue would still be the best, but not the sole user. - White is a color that protects itself, so something like Hindering Light is the most likely avenue to take White Countermagic, anything that touches my stuff - go away. Think Equinox in terms of templating but not necessarily that specific. Giving their spells on the stack protection from a color or supertype or plain "old" Hexproof. - Green already has an affinity to provide hexproof to their stuff, Heroic Intervention and Veil of Summer , so expanding on that seems reasonable. - Red could go the Fork / Shunt route but is unlikely to get countermagic that straight up nullifies other types of spells than spells with targets. - Black is kinda difficult. The usual is just to tack an alternative payment of life, cards or permanents on an otherwise Blue card. Black already have an indirect proactive answer through selective discard, like Duress . The issue is these are all sorcery speed, so if an opponent suddenly starts drawing a lot of cards, it can be difficult for black to be proactive in time. So perhaps just providing Duress at instant speed through a condition would be acceptable. Something like "Instant Duress may be cast as an instant if an opponent has drawn two or more cards this turn." / "Instant Duress may be cast as an instant if the target opponent has 5 or more cards in hand". Any kind of variation on that.

Of course some would talk about color pie bleeding/breaking, but ain't that already happening by giving blue hard removal (by proxy) and large scale soft board removal? I know some of these issues are mainly aimed at multiplayer formats, but we cannot ignore that Magic has grown to be something else than only Duel Magic (1 on 1). Blue's counter magic is here to stay, but is it too much to ask that the other colors can get even slightly in on the action if not directly, then indirectly by interacting more with the stack?

Green has one of the best palettes available to them for a slightly slower format; mana ramp, card draw, large threats, ability to scale well, protective measures, explosive finishers and a hell lot of combo potential and pieces.

I think Green is only beaten slightly by Black in terms of Commander due to tutors in a singleton format. And because Black can cheat mana costs or pays differently, has access to card draw and good finishers, along many more combo pieces.

Blue is one of the only colors that reliably can stop combo or finishers dead in their tracks. Reversibly, they are the color best suited to keep those combos or finishers uninterrupted. They have the best access to card advantage and resource manipulation. And extra turns.

There's a reason that many cEDH decks are mainly some variation of Sultai colors (Green, black and blue) with maybe one added color or full WUBRG. I think this picture would be more diverse, if more colors became able to interact better. The ability to interact is one of the core foundations and strengths of Magic. Counter magic is a pillar of this interaction, more colors should find a way to do it or something similar.

PhillipDixon on Master Flicker [Primer]

4 weeks ago

This deck has two Mindbreak Trap listed. What should go in instead? Preordain ? One of the maybeboard cards?

Jace_Nalaar on Thousand-Year Kess

1 month ago

Ziabo, no worries dude. For a meta that plays that big, I can definitely see the need for slightly slower cards in favor of wider effect. In that case, I would see if you can slot in Mindbreak Trap for Undermine (yet another one I totally forgot about). Free is always better, and that'll eliminate the stack entirely. I think in a big meta like that Flusterstorm would only be better. More spells make it harder to deal with. Also, totally missed the Increasing Vengeance when I looked through. Hundred Card lists are hard to see for the whole thing sometimes lol.

Regardless, it looks like it's a lot of fun and I hope you hit flow on it next game!

Profet93 on Baral Your Eyes Out

1 month ago

Cut....

Into the Story - Can suck early game and grave hate or shuffling wheels exacerbate this. My version of baral plays lots of time spiral effects. But this does intrigue me

Mindbreak Trap / Summary Dismissal - Is this to counter the uncounterable?

Vex - We can do better

Estrid's Invocation - Why?

Marit Lage's Slumber - Too slow and unimpactful

Bond of Insight - Better recursion, fuels graveyard decks, but is interesting

Mass Manipulation - Too expensive

Plea for Power - I have a love hate relationship with this card. But it's always hurt me more than it's helped.

Murmuring Mystic - Worse talrand is not needed

Elixir of Immortality - No purpose?

+1

Let me know if you want some ideas for stuff to add

abbatromebone on Going all in with kiora ...

2 months ago
  • When you build a SB it is used to solve probelms your deck struggles with. Mindbreak Trap solves against storm and thats about it. If you are fighting a lot of storm go ahead itll help when you draw it. Otherwise dont. Damping Sphere is great in that match up and good in other match ups so it is a better SB.
  • Beast Within is interesting. What cards are problems? It most likely isnt a creature beacuse you are fog. So that leaves artifacts, enchantments, and lands. You are in green so there are 1 and 2 mana cards that solve the first two. Like Nature's Claim and Force of Vigor
  • needle is a good choice
  • Torpor Orb is not that great of a card to SB. There are better solutions in budget. ETBs are not that powerful in my opinon. Playing that weakens your deck. Graveyard decks are very common and powerful, and consistent. Play Tormod's Crypt
  • Negate is a great card for stopping counter magic on your fog, I would almost prefer Dispell or Swan Song It leaves more mana open for cards like fog.

Icbrgr on Going all in with kiora ...

2 months ago

@Magnanimous I think that's a really good catch/explanation for Mindbreak Trap ... I really thought that was gonna be a lot more handy to have but I guess it is much more narrow than I thought.... my current decklist has a lot of cantrips itself and in my play-testing I very rarely cast 3 spells in a row.

Ill look into Search for Azcanta  Flip wapping with fogs against control, Damping Sphere against combo, Grafdigger's Cage against graveyard.... see what works out best. Thanks!

Magnanimous on Going all in with kiora ...

2 months ago

@lebrgr I really don't like Mindbreak Trap as a sideboard card unless you're coming up against a lot of genuine storm decks that win with Grapeshot or similar. In decks with lots of cantrips, BW Control for example, they might have a turn that goes cantrip planeswalker removal spell and you can counter the removal spell. Just as likely is a turn that goes something like cantrip to find sorcery speed play pass to you and then play removal spell and cantrip 2, none of which you can do anything about. Even against something like Arclight Phoenix , it only counters the last spell your opponent cast and doesn't deal with the triggers.

Some possible replacements: Search for Azcanta  Flip swapping with fogs against control, Damping Sphere against combo, Grafdigger's Cage against graveyard.

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