Counterspell

Combos Browse all Suggest

Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Oldschool 93/94 Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper Duel Commander Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Planechase Legal
Premodern Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Counterspell

Instant

Counter target spell.

rckclimber777 on Build a Deck with Me …

4 weeks ago

Sometimes when I'm deckbuilding, I focus less on the commander and more on an interesting concept/combo that I want to use or exploit. This is the case with one of my favorite decks in my profile and actually one of the first commander decks I ever built. This deck began years ago when Magic finally started caring about the EDH format. It was a more simple time then, Rhystic study was $1.27 (exactly the price I paid for mine over 10 years ago), Cyclonic Rift was a bulk rare, and demonic tutor could be found for $10.

The combo that I was interested in was Palinchron and Deadeye Navigator. The latter was my favorite card at the time and is still one of my favorites. It was a great tool and with all the ETB effects that were out around then it was an underrated and uber powerful card. In fact, the entire blink mechanic was and is a very powerful strategy.

When I built this deck, I played a few times in shops and was quickly told that edh is a casual format and interaction of any kind is not fair (was told this by a land destruction deck...) So this deck is definitely more on the competitive side, but it would be the distant fringe of cedh. Alright with that let's get into it.

Initial thoughts

So we have a combo that we like Palinchron and Deadeye Navigator, but we don't even have a commander yet and going mono-blue seems not great, so we want to figure out what color(s) to add and what commander to choose. In a combo deck, there are generally three things that I like to make sure I include beyond the normal ramp, and card draw. That is redundancy, the ability to tutor up my combo pieces, and ways to protect my combo. So when thinking about tutoring up my combo pieces, I generally like to have the best tutors. Those are in black. So things like Wishclaw Talisman, Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor and Imperial Seal (if you have money to burn or your playgroup is fine with you proxying the best cards so you can obliterate their precons j/k I proxy all my expensive cards and put them in a binder in case someone has an issue).

So we have Blue and Black and we can certainly add another color if we wanted to, but at the time I liked Dralnu, Lich Lord because Snapcaster Mage was in standard and flashback was cool. So I stuck with it when I revamped it, but decided that I wanted something that could ensure I can protect my combo from any threat and then also use it to win if I wanted to. The answer came in the form of Ertai Resurrected. He can counter basically anything from spells to activated abilities (which will come in handy) or he can take a threat on the field at the cost of letting your opponent draw a card.

So now that we have our commander, how to build the deck?

Redundancy

Combo decks need redundancy. If you don't get your two cards or one of them gets exiled, you need a backup plan, or scooping is your only option. Fortunately, there are some great redundancies here. We have Ghostly Flicker and Displace. Both of these will blink your creatures (ghostly flicker will also blink artifacts). Displacer Kitten can be helpful too, but I don't own it and it is a little more chaotic than I need it to be. Palinchron is great because you can return it to your hand and potentially play it again and create infinite mana through the use of High Tide, but a similar combo that has added benefits is Peregrine Drake, Archaeomancer, and Ghostly Flicker. This bounces both the drake and the archaeomancer untapping 5 lands, and returning ghostly flicker to your hand. Rinse and repeat for infinite mana. Archaeomancer also will help in returning key counterspells and tutors to your hand. Nothing like doing double duty. Mnemonic Wall and Great Whale also fit here. The great thing about this combo is that each component is useful in and of itself. Bring out your Great Whale early untap some lands and do some other stuff or play out the rest of your combo with the untapped lands. Cast Archaeomancer to grab a used tutor for another combo piece.

One note here, if you get Peregrine Drake (or one of the other two) paired with Deadeye Navigator and you generate infinite mana you can now draw your deck with Ertai as commander: Step 1: Bounce Deadeye, when he enters don't soulbond with anyone.
Step 2: Cast Ertai, don't choose anything or if you want kill one of your opponent's creatures. It doesn't matter.
Step 3: Soulbond ertai and deadeye. Step 4: Bounce Deadeye and while that is on the stack bounce Ertai. Step 5: Ertai enters the battlefield counter the Deadeye bounce on the stack Draw a card Step 6: Soulbond ertai and deadeye again rinse and repeat. Draw as many cards as you need. Which means draw until you find your wincon.

Wincon

Since this is an infinite mana combo we need something to use all that mana. Obviously the activated ability on deadeye is great, but we need something to actually win with. I went with Commander's Insight and Blue Sun's Zenith. Both of these cards are useful even when they aren't being used to force your opponents to draw their cards. Blue Sun's Zenith works nicely because once you cast it goes back into your deck, which I showed above you can draw as many cards as you need so you cast it once, put it in your library draw again until you find it, cast it again on the next opponent, then again. You can also tutor them up or bring them back from the graveyard with the tutors or the archaeomancer/mnemonic wall from earlier. I like this more than straight damage, because if you don't have infinite mana these cards will still draw you cards.

Tutors

This is a fairly simple step, we need some good tutors. There are a number of good choices in black so I won't belabor that too much. I don't have some of the standard ones and feel like the deck performs fine with the ones it currently has. I do have a Tribute Mage in the deck because nearly all my mana rocks are 2 mana and so is Wishclaw Talisman. I found that the consistency with the deck is vastly improved by being able to tutor up my ramp. Also with deadeye I can bounce it multiple times and get more rocks or the talisman.

Protecting the combo

So I needed to figure out how to protect my combo and do so in a way that is flexible or can be used as needed. So Counterspell. Honestly, this part was fairly simple, most blue counter magic is here. Only reason Fierce Guardianship isn't here is because I don't have it. Other than that we have the typical cards here Force of Will, Mana Drain, Cyclonic Rift, Force of Negation, Pact of Negation, etc.

I also have a couple other standouts. Venser, Shaper Savant is great here as it can be bounced with Deadeye Navigator to essentially boomerang my opponent's board and all their spells. Ertai Resurrected also protects the combo and with deadeye becomes a nice repeatable counter/removal spell.

glen_elandra_archmage can be bounced when she has her -1/-1 counter allowing her to be used again and again to counter noncreature spells.

Typical stuff

There is a lot of ramp in the deck, so Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, and other mana rocks including some larger ones like Gilded Lotus and Basalt Monolith to really get the ramp going, the sooner you can get to 7-8 mana the sooner you can combo out.

For card draw some key performers here are Rhystic Study, Black Market Connections, Phyrexian Arena, The One Ring. Mystic Remora. In my initial hand I want to have 3 lands, and one of these/tutor to find one or I typically mulligan.

Special notes

A couple other cards deserve mention here. Time Stretch and Time Warp. These are both repeatable with Archaeomancer and Mnemonic Wall and I can honestly say that if I'm able to resolve either of these, it is unlikely that I'm going to lose, especially Time Stretch. With the ramp in the deck or a well timed Dark Ritual/High Tide I can play this fairly early and get a huge advantage.

Lands

Since this deck tends to be fast, you don't want lands that come into play tapped, so this deck uses fetch lands, shock lands, and duals that have the ability to come in untapped. (there are a couple that come into play tapped, but they are fetchable so I fetch them only when I know that I'm not going to be able to use the mana and only on an opponent's turn.)

I've had this deck for a while and it performs far better than any of my other decks. It always presents interesting lines that if followed will lead to surprising victories. As always let me know what you think in the comments and if you have a commander in mind that you want to see me build put it in the chat.

Here is the final decklist: Unlimited Power!

Rhadamanthus on Tetsuko Umezawa and Prosthetic Injector

1 month ago

Those abilities don't have anything written into their targeting requirements that restricts them to "nonland permanents" or "permanents you control", so yes, you can target an opponent's lands with them. This could be useful for locking up Counterspell mana that you don't want to deal with during your second main phase, but pretty much any other kind of Instant-speed thing they could do during your second main could also be done in response to these triggers during combat, so the general usefulness there could be limited.

It's better to start a new topic for a new question rather than append it to a resolved topic, especially if they aren't related. It makes it easier for people with a similar question to find later and makes it easier for people with answers to notice the new activity (I got a notification because I posted here, but otherwise people might not look at all since the thread is marked as resolved).

wallisface on Cloaked Whispers

1 month ago

I’m not sure where the first iteration of this deck ended as it got deleted before I could read any closing comments. So apologies in advance if i’m stating something that’s already been discussed.

Your description has the opening statement of “I know the deck is slow, don't really care about that. These are the type of decks I like to build. So don't comment if you're not interested in helping try and help with the deck” - this commentary is at-odds with itself… in that the absolute-best way to make this deck more playable is to speed it up. It’s going to be very hard to offer suggestions that aren’t just “make the deck faster”, because that’s the primary thing this deck soo sorely needs.

Specifically, your deck needs to be doing something in all-of turns 1, 2, and 3 to progress the game… otherwise you just get left in the dust. Your options for that includes:

  • potentially having a ramp engine. Green has loads of 1-mana options for generating mana which could easily accelerate your win condition by a few turns. Ramp also helps mitigate some of the woes you’ll face with this extremely greedy mana curve.

  • potentially having control elements. If you’re wanting the game to go long enough to do your thing, you need to make sure the opponent isn’t just winning. Counterspell, Fatal Push, Thoughtseize etc all play a part in dragging the game out and allowing you time to assemble your pieces.

  • potentially dig through your deck to assemble all the cards you need. Your combo requires a lot of working pieces, and as said before, those Transmute cards are super clumsy. Cards like Preordain, Serum Visions, Opt, and Consider could all help you dig through your deck to try and get your card pieces asap - to try and make a turn 5 win as reliable as possible.

^ each of those three above options could be viable - the important thing is that your deck needs to be working towards achieving its goal from turn 1, not turn 3-4. At the moment your shell is both super slow and super fragile, which is just going to lead it to not-working.

Neotrup on Remand vs. Approach

2 months ago

The text to put Approach of the Second Sun into it's owners library is part of the resolution of the spell, so if the spell is countered or otherwise fails to resolve it will not be applied and go to the appropriate zone (in this case the hand). Compare to a card like Nexus of Fate which is a replacement effect that applies when it tries to go to the graveyard, or Gaea's Blessing which is a triggered ability that triggers when it is put into the graveyard (though only from library, not from the stack). Nexus of Fate will shuffle in if it's countered by something like Counterspell.

wallisface on Sheoldred Control

3 months ago

Some thoughts:

wallisface on Azorius Aggro-Control deck

3 months ago

If I were building a deck with your colour and budget restraints, it’d be this. I’d suggest your list look very close to this, if you’re wanting to end up with an ”Azorius Aggro-Control deck”.

If you’re going down the route of specifically wanting to build around Ethersworn Canonist, it’s a completely different deck - neither aggro nor control, but instead some kind of artifact-based tempo build.

wallisface on Azorius Aggro-Control deck

3 months ago
  • Preordain is miles better than Serum Visions

  • yes you can trigger Lion Sash multiple times. You’d presumably always do it in the opponents end step.

  • I should reiterate as I have been this whole thread that your artifact creatures aren’t very-well suited for a control or aggro shell at-all… this is why i’d suggested a bunch of creatures that would actually help you. I know you like Ethersworn Canonist but this is a really bad home for it - trying to force it into this deck is going to make it’s performance bad, and the deck worse.

  • Haughty Djinns 3-mana cost can be a little awkward, but i’ll note Murktide Regent is two mana and survives fine. The trick is to know the matchups well enough to gauge when to ”shields down” to cast it - or wait till you have 4-5 lands so you can also Spell Pierce or Counterspell.

  • Tolarian Terror is 1 mana and wins the game on its own. You’re in no massive rush to dump it down, but tempo-control builds could often get it down by turn 3-4 no problem.

  • Touch the Spirit Realm is fine, but not great. You’re unlikely to ever channel it, but it’ll still be decent-enough.

  • Detention Sphere is decent.

  • of course opponents will be paying 2 mana to crack clues, but only if its the best thing for them to be doing fir their turn. Them gaining clues is an advantage for them.

wallisface on Azorius Aggro-Control deck

3 months ago

Some thoughts:

  • Last time you started a thread about a deck, it was described as you wanting to make a deck more competitive, but when those suggestions came through you decided you'd rather the deck be casual than strong. Is this the same scenario, or are you legitimately looking for advice on making a strong control deck.

  • Azorius Conrtol already exists as a well-defined meta archetype, consistently hovering between 1-5% of the meta. There is an established deck list here

  • The kind of deck your describing (being aggressive while also controlling the board state) is basically what the current Murktide Regent lists do - deck here. I think it is going to be very hard to justify playing white over red in such an archetype, because red brings most of the aggression, but it's probably still achievable with some concessions.

Some thoughts on your current list specifically:

  • For the deck to work, you need to be running the minimum amount of creatures possible - between 12-15. Running more than this makes it too hard to control the board, and running less than this puts you at risk of not being able to threaten damage.

  • All the creatures you run need to be able to quickly close-out the game on their own. If you check the Murktide list linked above, you'll notice all of those creatures are able to dish out extreme pressure. So far, NONE of your creatures are even remotely threatening. You want to be playing creatures that can end the game fast and can do everything they need to by-themselves. You should really be playing cards like Murktide Regent, Ledger Shredder, Tishana's Tidebinder and Solitude/Subtlety instead of these extremely weak creatures.

  • Any number of Academy Ruins is excessive when you have no real reason to want to recur any of these artifacts.

  • 3 mana countermagic is always bad - there's no reason to run Render Silent especially when you still have room to play another Counterspell instead.

  • Assemble the Players is a terrible card and shouldn't be here.

  • you need waay more wawys to powerfully interact with cards that the opponent resolves - Oppressive Rays is too weak for this. You need cards like Prismatic Ending and Leyline Binding.

  • You are severely lacking in efficient draw. I would expect Preordain instead of Peek at a bare minimum.

Load more