Counterbalance

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.

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

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Legality

Format Legality
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Vintage Legal
Limited Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Modern Legal
Pauper Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Highlander Legal

Latest Decks as Commander

Counterbalance Discussion

unwucht on Coin-flip Tribal

2 weeks ago

Counterbalance can be a quite mighty lock on the game. But I would suggest to complement it by running Sensei's Divining Top to be able to manipulate the top of your library accordingly.

What's your gameplan with this list? Is it meant to be simply coinflip chaos or do you have something different in mind?

jaymc1130 on Dralnu Oracle Consultation

1 month ago

So, the first thing to consider about Consult Oracle lines of play in strictly Dimir lists is does the commander offer a significantly better reason to play them over the default Dimir option in Yuriko. In the case of Dralnu the answer is actually yes. While Yuriko is liable to be the better over all performer against the meta at large, Dralnu offers the opportunity to play a more control/stax oriented role effectively in a way that Yuriko struggles with and be potentially more effective in longer grindier affairs.

At first glance, some of the things that strike me as potential card slots that could be put to a better purpose are the sorcery speed draw effects like Night's Whisper and Shimmer of Possibility. 2 mana for card selection generally isn't where a competitive list wants to be as it becomes difficult to keep up mana to also interact or threaten interaction in a color set up that lacks access to green ramp sources for the most consistent mana resource build up. This is likely to be a bit less than as ideal as a pilot would want in a large sample size of games. The 3 mana tutors are also a bit out of place in a competitive list as they tend not to be effective enough in competitive settings.

The second thing that jumps out at me is the land count in a deck that again lacks access to quality green ramp play patterns. Most competitive decks have moved to land counts of 29 and 30 as baseline since the days of the "games end on turn 3 or 4" meta state (which in itself was never really true in the most competitive settings) are long past and it's important for a deck to make land drops consistently in games that will commonly be going 5-10 turns in the most competitive settings as players jockey for position in "mexican standoff" game states to set up a game winning turn. In general, competitive decks are going to want to run about 46 total mana sources as a rule of thumb, with about 15 or 16 of those sources coming from various ramping methods like dorks, rocks, and enchantments (rocks being the only real option in Dimir colors, and 16 a count that can't realistically be reached with quality rocks).

3 important cards to consider given what's already in this list would be Counterbalance, Mystic Forge, and any artifact cost reducer such as Helm of Awakening as these cards offer additional control elements and an additional combo line that allows the player to draw out the deck for the win (either by looping a win condition and adding loop enabling pieces in place of less live win conditions like Aetherflux Reservoir, or by playing the primary win conditions in Oracle and Jace Maniac).

With both Twister and Windfall also in this list it would be of great benefit to enable wheel win lines with the inclusion of Notion Thief and Narset, Parter of Veils as these cards are extremely strong performing stax pieces that are universally effective (every deck in the format needs to draw more cards) in addition to comboing with wheel lines of play to establish massive advantages that consistently lead to winning game states.

Toxic Deluge is an effective sweeper piece that should be considered in place of, or in addition to, Damnation.

Ashiok, Dream Render is an incredibly potent card in the competitive meta these days that warrants inclusion in any deck in Dimir colors. It's a universal hate piece along two different angles of attack: preventing tutoring of the deck for opponents, and exiling graveyards stocked with critical pieces.

Scroll Rack becomes a powerful tool with the inclusion of Counterbalance and these two should often be considered together as part of a Counterbalance Package to cement the control/lockdown game plan in games where this line of play is the one drawn in the early stages.

Gush without Doomsday is generally a slot that could also be better served by a different card.

At first glance, these are the things that kind of jump out at me and some of them may not be options for you based on budget or playgroup decisions. But it's a list that looks mostly very solid from a competitive standpoint and with a couple of tweaks something that could be strong enough to keep up with Kess Consult, Urza Tyrant, or Gitrog Dredge in the third tier of competitive decks where there are is a large number of archetypes that consistently best the meta at large and hold their own against tier 3, 2, and 1 decks.

SynergyBuild on Oko in cEDH settings

1 month ago

jaymc1130 Mind if I get a source on the 4% decrease in winrate? Also is that a decrease of 4% in total winrate (assume 25% down to 21%) or is that a relative drop to the deck's winrate irrespective of its total against the field (25% down to 24%)?

Sorry, just haven't found the data you are referencing! I've been trying to collect a ton on it, and having an exact database of every deck running each card seems hugely impactful to supporting/debunking some other hypotheses I have about the format.

Again, I don't think Allure is a good card, let alone better than Oko, but it isn't a directly worse card, and many decks that don't want Oko for a variety of reasons.

Additionally, the metagame currently isn't extremely commander focused. Sure Gitrog has its issues, but Kess does consult one way or another, Kenrith is a 5c value pile, Najeela is always layered with Consult, sometimes even pod, etc.

Partner pairings run them for value and rarely rely on them (Yes some infinite mana combos want Thrasios, but mostly they are all cool with a pile of value too)

Really, commander-removal isn't the name of the game with Gilded Drake, Legacy's Allure, Oko, Thief of Crowns and it never was about that. Otherwise Darksteel Mutation would be played, and it certainly isn't in high enough numbers to count as relevant.

Oko is good because if players don't think it is a threat it will slowly take down a few stax pieces or opposing threats, before the elks kill it. It doesn't get more than 1-3 Beast Withins even in slow games, because it dies. The chance that it dies immediately, and doesn't get you another threat like Gilded Drake does is big.

My biggest issue is that you continue to say that Gilded Drake just is a Darksteel Mutation that gives a flying elk. It steals a threat. Oko answers something, and leaves you an Oko, Drake answers something, and leaves you whatever was so powerful it needed answering.

Oko is better in the scenarios that you aren't pressed on mana, you are in a commanding board presence for creatures, or are so far behind you know opponents won't kill it, if the threats are cards you don't want, or if you need to remove a troublesome artifact, like a Sensei's Divining Top under a Counterbalance or a Bolas's Citadel.

Gilded Drake is better if you are tight on mana, doesn't matter what board state you have, if an opponent has a high value creature you want, or if you need have a need for a threat on your side, rather than a Walker that will die.

The issue with Oko, is that it is really only better than Drake when you are way behind or way ahead, and if you are way behind I don't see it as the best way to catch up, a sweeper often is, and if you are way ahead you probably don't need it at all. That isn't to say you shouldn't run both, or if you are in a high-value artifact based metagame Oko couldn't be better, but that on average, against the field, a vast number of decks should run Drake over Oko, if they only have the choice of one.

But screw that, I'm running both loser xD

Xica on Esper Shadows - Plunge into Death!

1 month ago

Like Squirrelbacon said, the flexibility you get by spending mana at instant speed is hard to oversate in ANY deck that runs counterspells. It's the difference between losing to an early Liliana of the Veil, or catching it with Stubborn Denial.

Serum Visions's main strength is setting up the top of library for cards that care, like Delver of Secrets  Flip, or any card featuring the miracle mechanic - maybe Counterbalance...

Without the presence of such cards, Opt (supports counters), Thought Scour (helps with delve and escape costs), or even Hieroglyphic Illumination (scales well into late game) can all be superior options.
Of course just because you play esper, it doesn't mean you need to play counterspells.
However you need to make a resultion, and build your deck accordingly. Either run counterspells (with fully playset Stubborn Denial at bare minimum) and support for them, or don't.
Half assing that decision is a terrible idea.

jaymc1130 on Consult Kess

1 month ago

DeinoStinkus

There's a couple of reasons to always try and include 8-10 fetch lands in competitive lists.

First, it helps decks be as consistent as possible in terms of opening hands and opening turn land drops that are able to provide the required colors of mana for advantageous development play patterns.

Second, it helps thin out the deck. Not a ton of help in this regard in a 100 card singleton format, but every little bit helps.

Third, shuffle effects are huge when it comes to taking advantage of top of library style cards such as Brainstorm, Counterbalance or Sensei's Divining Top.

And fourth, in this particular list there is the niche application of consistently putting Islands into play with a higher number of fetch lands to help empower High Tide lines of play.

Ultimately, decks without access to green miss out on probably the best reason to run a high number of fetches as they won't have access to green mana dorks or the Bloom Combo package (although Crucible of Worlds is still accessible) that really abuses fetch lands with multiple land drops per turn to gain massive developmental advantages that make it exceedingly difficult for non green decks to compete in grindier affairs.

SideBae on Yennett Simplicity

1 month ago

Hey man! I have some suggestions. Feel free to ignore any/all of them as you see fit:

  1. I think you should include Sensei's Divining Top. It's really good at topdeck manipulation, and activating it in response to Yennett's trigger can help you find the spell you want to cast for free.

  2. Brainstorm is underplayed in EDH, so I'm glad to see it in your list. I think you need more shuffle effects though before it becomes really busted. Generally people do this by including fetches and duals like Flooded Strand, but those can be very pricey for EDH. I think slow fetches like Bad River, Flood Plain and Rocky Tar Pit are also good, and merit consideration. Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse are also good options as cheaper versions of Prismatic Vista.

  3. Ponder and Preordain are the other cantrips usually included in blue lists, and I highly recommend them for your list, too. Filtering your draws can let you run fewer lands, which in turn increases your hits with Yennett.

  4. As mentioned in (3), I think 42 lands is too many. In general, I try to play 33-34 at most outside mono-green land-drop decks. Running artifact ramp instead of the extra few lands makes it so that you can ramp up by more than one mana each turn. That said, I strongly dislike 3-drop rocks in EDH; it's not that they're bad, it's that 2-mana drops are available and way better. The best ones are Mana Crypt, Mox Diamond, Mox Opal, Mana Vault etc. but like the fetches, these tend to be a lot of money. If you aren't allowed to use proxies (and aren't loaded af), try things like Arcane Signet, Talisman of Dominance, Talisman of Dominance, Talisman of Hierarchy, Fellwar Stone, Everflowing Chalice, Mind Stone, Dimir Signet, Azorius Signet, Orzhov Signet... You can't cast these off Yennett triggers, but you can't cast the lands they'd be replacing either. Additionally, you don't really want to be hitting rocks off the triggers, but more things like In Garruk's Wake or Behold the Beyond.

  5. Countering combo decks generally depends on your meta, but cheap counters are a good way to push the deck harder. Mental Misstep is surprisingly good (in my experience), since it can counter Sol Ring, Silence, Demonic Consultation etc. Force of Will and Force of Negation are also expensive, but the best in the business. Spell Snare is good (it counters Flash and a bunch of other combo nonsense; Spell Pierce, Swan Song, Drown in the Loch and Narset's Reversal are also good.

  6. If you're looking for more permanent-based disruption, you're in the right colors. Narset, Parter of Veils is good, as is Counterbalance (especially with Sensei's Divining Top). Lavinia, Azorius Renegade is good (she nails opposing Force of Wills and ramp). So are things like Containment Priest, Aven Mindcensor, Ashiok, Dream Render... Hatebears are great.

  7. Mystic Remora is a good way to draw cards and disincentivize storm players.

Right. That's all I got. I hope it helps!

SideBae on That's a big nope

2 months ago

One card that I always thought was pretty good with Aminatou, the Fateshifter is Counterbalance. Since you can shift the top card of your deck without revealing it, you can stack a 1 or 2 on top and nail an opponent for no cards. It also makes Sensei's Divining Top really good.

Gilded Drake is absurd with your general. Because of her wording, you can flicker permanents you own even if you don't control them -- so the minus becomes "steal target creature." It is $170. So either be rich or play with proxies... I love proxies, and I think they're unduly rejected in EDH.

Preordain is good in addition to your Ponder and Brainstorm. Brainstorm is best with more free shuffle effects than you currently have... They usually come from fetches like Polluted Delta, but those lands can be expensive. Slow fetches like Bad River also work, and things like Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse are also good.

You have two Arcane Signets. Unless the rules have changed, that's not allowed...

Control decks -- which I think this is -- tend to like wipes. I think Toxic Deluge is really good, since it gets around cards like Gaddock Teeg. Damnation and/or Wrath of God are also good.

You could also do with more two-mana mana-rocks; three-mana rocks, like Commander's Sphere, are significantly slower and come down turn three, competing with your commander. I suggest cards like Talisman of Dominance, Talisman of Hierarchy, Talisman of Progress, Fellwar Stone, Mind Stone, Everflowing Chalice, Azorius Signet, Dimir Signet, Orzhov Signet, Thought Vessel...

I also think you have better options than Defense Grid, since Defense Grid is symmetric and hoses your counters, too. Teferi, Time Raveler comes to mind.

Narset, Parter of Veils is also really good, especially if you can pair her with something like Windfall.

Finally, Omen of the Sea seems like it could be good to flicker, though playtesting would be needed.

Right. I hope this helps!

j0k3rzinhu on What are the most abusive …

3 months ago

i dont know about abusive, but my picks for most rage-inducing cards are:

1- Counterbalance

2- By Force

3- Flash oh wait, he dead

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