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.

Latest Decks as Commander

Counterbalance Discussion

Icbrgr on is Miracles dead?

3 months ago

I liked the list I upvoted more/most personally.

Heck with JTMS why not even try Counterbalance and Ensnaring Bridge / Chalice of the Void .... maybe splash red for Blood Moon and you have something quite rage inducing.

Vash13 on Arcades' Moving Castle

7 months ago

This rocks I've always been a fan of arcades, it a fun commander, iv considered building a deck with him many times, one thing to consider tho is that his play style revolves around building up walls then bringing him out to swing with said walls, so this means everyone that starts seing you cast 7/7's for effectively 3 mana or so are going to start targeting your commander first so adding in some extra protection for him is key, some cards to consider are staples like Swiftfoot Boots, or Lightning Greaves, your in white and green so Shalai, Voice of Plenty is a great option or if your not concerned about mana costs Avacyn, Angel of Hope is also great, another thing to consider is that your in blue as well so some countermagic could come in handy like classic Counterspell, or something a little more broad like Counterbalance, just some food for thought :), good luck

plakjekaas on Opposition Agent needs a preemptive …

7 months ago

Yeah, no. I'm not buying it. I think a lot more players than you assume, play the game to play the game, and just don't like to lock up tables in the magnitude you're suggesting. Because the way you picture it, there will be no decks left not playing blue or black in the world.

I will not be jamming Hullbreacher in my temur landfall deck, Opposition Agent will not make the cut for Rankle, Master of Pranks, nor for Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire (excellent answer right there in the command zone btw). Commander players all over the world like to play suboptimal decks with janky combos, tokens, big creatures, tribes, any way to personalize the experience and make it fun to play. The problems you are projecting are only for tables that rely on their tutors to do anything they want to, with only interaction, tutors, and instant, hard-to-interact-with win-the-game combo pieces in their deck.

Which is currently the most powerful way to play magic in EDH, because you're playing singleton. But not really, because every tutor counts as every other card in your deck that it can find. OP agent, like Aven Mindcensor, Stranglehold,Mindlock Orb and Leonin Arbiter, will absolutely WRECK cEDH tables, nobody will disagree with that. If you can't answer a 3/2 with your hand and/or boardstate, without searching your library, or if your deck can't win without its Thassa's Oracle, yes, then this card is a major problem for you.

But in the top 100 cards on EDHrec, there's 16 that get hosed by OP agent. 9 of them only search your library for land(s). If that was enough to be banned from a format, Null Rod and Collector Ouphe would have been banned ages ago, because almost every deck plays mana rocks (23 out of 100 are hosed by those). Getting your stuff stolen feels bad, however, so this will immediately make the top Salt Cards list on EDHrec.

It sounds like only the most powerful decks and tables are not ready for the impact of this card, the paradigm shift that searching your library to find exactly what you need at any time, can be answered now, and might no longer be the best thing to do in any situation, it might even lose you the game now. The rest of the world, who can just cast a 6-power creature from their hand, or the command zone, and start beating the player who forbids them to play their deck until he is no more, along with the other 2 players who don't have an OP agent in play and like to see it gone, will shrug and consider this the next unfun stax piece, like Stasis, Winter Orb, Armageddon, Cursed Totem, Drannith Magistrate, Notion Thief, Narset, Parter of Veils, Counterbalance + Sensei's Divining Top, Glacial Chasm and others that have mostly been self-restricted at 90% of all EDH playgroups in the world, but not banned.

So to preemptively ban this card because a small subset of commander metas around the world will have a hard time dealing with it, is hard for me to get behind, especially if that's the same subset that will have a Force of Will, an Assassin's Trophy, a Cyclonic Rift and/or a Mystical Tutor to find those or a different answer with OP agent on the stack.

unwucht on Coin-flip Tribal

9 months 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

10 months 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

10 months 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!

10 months 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

10 months 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.

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