Posted on May 15, 2019, 2:55 a.m. by MizzMizz
So, when my buddies and I play (EDH Always) I usually like to try and find out who has counter magic in their hands before I go for big plays.
My methods of finding out go from asking quite directly and gauging their response to being more sly and subtle, seeing if I can draw a subconscious answer from them. I've found some tell tale signs among my friends are verbal pauses of a certain length, card shuffling, and saying things like "perhaps" which usually means they dont have counter magic, although they may be representing it with untapped mana.
Have you guys found any good ways to tell when someone might have a counterspell in their hand? I would say that among my playgroup, I'm around 75% accurate when it comes to deciding if they do or do not have a counterspell.
I usually play something not as impactful to fish out their conterspell. Maybe acting like i really dont want the spell to be countered. Then there is Telepathy ;)
May 15, 2019 4:54 a.m.
There are many tells, if it is the same people, there are a few ways to tell. One is the classic down-up tell, where you can ask if anyone has answers to (insert random opponent who you aren't worried about having counterspells)'s commander or combo or whatever.
Then check each opponents' eyes as you say that. Players with answers don't have to say anything, their eyes should look at their hand, then at the opponent, then if they respond, often at you, or the board, or back to their hand. This eye movement signals they have an answer, or are seeing if they do.
To tell which of the options they have, and they hold their hand so that they would have to move their hand around to see each card, and move their hand around, then they often will not have the answer, especially if they leave their hand in the end the way it started. It they did move it around, they most likely will not have the answer, unless they clearly moved a singular card around, in which they will.
If they have few cards in hand, or fan them in such a way they can see them all, try to see which side of their hand their focus is on, whether they look distinctly at a single card, or put their thumb down on one, it depends on their fan, left to right, or right to left. A left to right has the rightmost card on top from their point of view, and visa versa for right to left.
If they look only at the top card, or the side that the top card is on, then they often will hold an answer, if they don't look at that side and don't move or shuffle their hand around, they often do not have an answer.
Try to practice looking for that tell within a second for each opponent, and judge their reaction times to your warning, so you know who to look at in what order, to maximize your time checking for the tell. This is all done in a split second, but is extremely useful. I learned it from professional poker players, and adapted it to MTG over time.
May 15, 2019 12:55 p.m.
Personally I go for the "dive across the table and wrestle the cards out of their hand to see what they have" approach. I've found it to be quite accurate in knowing what's in my opponent's hand.
May 15, 2019 6:38 p.m.
enpc approach, while accurate, has not been effective due to judges disqualifying all players who use this OP strategy.