Cryptic Command

Cryptic Command

Instant

Choose two —

  • Counter target spell.

  • Return target permanent to its owner's hand.

  • Tap all creatures your opponents control.

  • Draw a card.

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Printings View all

Set Rarity
Iconic Masters (IMA) Rare
Masterpiece Series: Amonkhet Invocations (AKHMPS) Common
Modern Masters 2015 Edition (MM2) Rare
Modern Masters (MMA) Rare
Lorwyn (LRW) Rare
Promo Set (000) Rare

Combos Browse all

Legality

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

Cryptic Command occurrence in decks from the last year

Modern:

All decks: 0.48%

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.05%

Blue: 0.51%

Cryptic Command Discussion

hkhssweiss on Niv-Mizzet, Incorrigible Megalomaniac | Primer

3 days ago

Yo philkillpro appreciate your insight.

This deck is built towards cEDH match ups, yes it does mainly require my commander to win because Nivvie himself is a two card combo with any of the Curiosity effects. It is supposed to be slow, we are a control combo deck, we are not rushing to win asap, it's built to out tempo and control the boardstate.

In regards to Mystic Confluence it comes in and out of the deck, the same can be said for Cryptic Command, Dig Through Time, and Treasure Cruise. It all depends on my current meta and how much it interacts with the game. Yes having triple pips on blue and red in the casting cost of the commander is a downside however Nivvie negates it by not being able to be countered as well as netting at least one card draw before anything happens to Niv. I also would like to think that I do have enough sources for mana as I have 10 extra ways of producing color mana aside from my lands. In the part of also for Mana Drain and Sol Ring, they are damn good cards. It's not used for casting Nivvie faster as I mentioned earlier above, it's to out tempo your opponents. Not to mention there are certain tricks you can do like for example using Frantic Search with the excess colorless mana to untap your lands to accelerate into Nivvie faster.

As to Wayfarer's Bauble, Spell Swindle, and Lightning Greaves. The latter is a maybe, you don't want to tap out in a flash hulk meta but it does ramp so I'll take it into consideration. Spell Swindle is too slow and chances are Swindle itself will get countered, free cast spells are your best bet. For the former, our combo itself relies on having enchanted Nivvie with a Curiosity effect, with the low creature count we have, chances are there is no other creatures to equip when we decide to enchant Nivvie making it no bueno to give Nivvie Shroud.

For Mizzix it does no good in this current build and the casting cost is too high. Thanks again for your insight~

Silverdrake on Nightmare Blossoms

6 days ago

Looks fun! Surprised to see Dismember in place of Fatal Push though - with all your little 1 toughness creatures, Revolt will basically always be active. You could run Faerie Miscreant to start the beats early, help keep your hand full later in the game, and make a T2 Spellstutter counter a 2 drop rather than just a 1 drop. I don't think you need the shadowspears at all in mainboard, but if you're intent on keeping them I'd drop to 1 of at most. Cyc rift is pretty weak for modern - by turn 7+ you should already have killed your opponent with flying beaters. Consider runnning countermagic or removal in this slot - something like Drown in the Loch, Mana Leak, or Murderous Cut. Quickling is also pretty weak for modern - I'd consider replacing it with something like Vendilion Clique or Snapcaster Mage. Insidious Will is fun, but is outclassed in just about every aspect by Cryptic Command. Hand disruption would also fit nicely in this deck, something like 5-7 total copies of Thoughtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek, and/or Collective Brutality.

These are all just suggestions though - you should play the deck however you find it most fun! If you want more specific suggestions on what I'd cut and what I'd include, feel free to let me know! Whatever you decide to do, good luck and have fun!

Joker4242 on Island Secrets

1 week ago

My sideboard continues to change frequently. I have a 4th Archmage's Charm, Cyclonic Rift, and Day's Undoing at the ready. Surgical Extraction seems likely to stay in. But the rest are merely placeholders. I’m not exactly sure what I should replace them with. Pongify is still a valid option. Having early removal may prove highly beneficial. Mystical Dispute and Stubborn Denial are also useful counters against other blue/counter decks.

Now Relic of Progenitus is a very useful card, although is does have its drawbacks.

It can consistently remove cards from your opponents graveyard. But it’s second ability works against you because it will exile your graveyard as well. It does not work well with Day's Undoing. It is also not blue, nor is it an instant or sorcery, therefore you cannot combo it with Thing in the Ice  Flip or exile it with Force of Negation.

Surgical Extraction Is nice, it can be cast for free, it can be cast at any time, it can also be recycled with Mystic Sanctuary. The downside is that you must always pay 2 life to cast it (this deck has no lifegain whatsoever). Both cards have their downsides and neither one fits exactly, although Surgical Extraction works slightly better for this kind of deck.

Vendilion Clique is a useful card on its own, yet it doesn’t fit exactly into the deck. I don’t have enough bounce in the deck to consistently utilize Clique’s ability several times over. Now the 3/1 flying is nice, but I already have that with Brazen Borrower. The upside to the Clique is that you get to look at your opponents Hand and get rid of a problematic card. However, Borrower can act as an Instant spell (Which can trigger Thing in the Ice  Flip. Borrower can also remain in exile, this way it won’t be Bounced by Thing in the Ice nor will it be shuffled back into the deck by a Day's Undoing.

Venser, Shaper Savant is certainly a placeholder, it does pretty much what Cryptic Command will be doing (but with less options).

Kefnet the Mindful used to be in the deck. It was paired with Day’s Undoing to immediately become a 5/5 flyer. The problem is that he takes to long to setup. His 4 mana draw/land bounce ability won’t be useful until the late game. In the end, he ends up taking space in the hand or field, but doesn’t actually do anything (with a hand of 7 cards Kefnet is formidable, as soon as you start to play spells, Kefnet is useless again, essentially, Kefnet discourages spellcasting).

Aether Spellbomb was a card I enjoyed playing in the main deck. However, I found that it couldn’t combat every situation. Eventually it made its way into the sideboard as I needed to make space for Brazen Borrower (a mich more useful and potent card). Even though it has saved me in the past, I am thinking that it just can’t keep up with the rest of the deck. For one, it cannot be exiled with Force of Negation, for another, it is not an instant or sorcery, therefore it cannot trigger Thing in the Ice  Flip. I think it has served it’s purpose in the past, but I don’t see it coming back into the deck.

This is what I would end up with when considering what I want to keep in my sideboard:

1x Archmage’s Charm 1x Cyclonic Rift 1x Day’s Undoing 3x Surgical Extraction 4x Mystical Dispute

I still have 5 slots left to fill.

I’m thinking about perhaps adding some sort of protection against burn decks, maybe some more countermeasures against other counter/control decks, and I also feel like my defenses against Aggro may need to be tightened up.

snishi on Blue Moon

2 weeks ago

1/31/2020 FNM

First time playing Modern since War of the Spark. Wasn't too sure of the meta at my LGS so I packed a little too much gy hate.

Round 1 vs. Dredge

Opponent was playing Dredge with Ox of Agonas.

Game 1:

Blood Moon on t3 limited his options which I Remand-ed back to his hand. No green meant no Life from the Loam to get his 5th land to hard cast the ox. Bounced 4 Prized Amalgam via Thing in the Ice  Flip Flip and attacked for lethal after some burn to the face.

Sideboard for Game 2:

Out: 4 Opt, 1 Force of Negation, 1 Serum Visions

In: 2 Grafdigger's Cage, 2 Anger of the Gods, 2 Ashiok, Dream Render

Game 2:

Started with an Anger of the Gods, Remand, Thing in the Ice, 3 lands, and a Lightning Bolt. T3 opponent casts Cathartic Reunion discarding 2 Stinkweed Imp and a Golgari Thug to dredge for 14. My T3 I remove Narcomoeba, 3 Prized Amalgams and a Bloodghast with Anger of the Gods. Drew the second Anger to keep his board clear. Tried to block Awoken Horror but when I showed Cryptic Command + Mystic Sanctuary he scooped with ~7 card left in library.

Round 2 vs. Eldrazi Tron

Game 1:

Opponent couldn't get t3 tron but managed a Chalice of the Void on 1, no can-trips or bolts for me. Played a Karn, Scion of Urza and decided to take an Expedition Map to try to get tron instead of a Mind Stone (He forgot that he couldn't cast it with Chalice). Remand-ed a Thought-Knot Seer twice and Cryptic-ed his Reality Smasher which flipped a Thing. Tried to stabilize with a Walking Ballista but before attacks I Archmage's Charm-ed to gain control of his only blocker. Game 2.

Sideboard:

Out: 3 Opt

In: Damping Sphere, Summary Dismissal, Ceremonious Rejection

Game 2:

I had my only Snow-Covered Mountain in my opening hand which threw off my t3 Archmage's Charm and t4 Cryptic. I got lucky when my opponent still couldn't get tron until t5. Couldn't counter a Thought-Knot Seer and he took a titi but I also had a Magmatic Sinkhole to remove it. Kept countering his threats until I managed to get Ral, Izzet Viceroy out, -3 his Ballista on 1, he pings Ral and I keep using his +1 and countering his spells until I managed to ult Ral. He scoops.

Round 3 vs. Rakdos Vampires

Game 1:

Opponent was playing a vampire-themed midrange deck with Vampire Nocturnus, Gifted Aetherborn, Stromkirk Captain, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord along with the standard black cards like Liliana of the Veil, Fatal Push, Dark Confidant, and Thoughtseize. T1 Cavern of Souls was a pain but I could still draw a card with remand to dig for removal which I found in a bolt + snapcaster. I won with another snapcaster + bolt.

Sideboard:

Out: 2 Opt

In: 2 Anger of the Gods

Game 2:

Removed Kalitas with sinkhole and Force of Negation-ed his lotv when he tried to remove a titi which he did push later. Stabilized at 7 life by slamming a blood moon to get rid of Stensia Bloodhall and Lavaclaw Reaches but next turn he played Chandra, Awakened Inferno which I removed via bolt + sinkhole. Had to race him and beat him to death with a snapcaster and a Brazen Borrower. Won at 2 life.

Round 4 vs. Boros Burn

Game 1:

Had to remand a Boros Charm twice until t4 blood moon. Stabilized at 2 life but almost died to Searing Blood on my titi. Beat him to death with an awoken horror.

Sideboard:

Out: 2 Opt

In: 2 Anger of the Gods. At this point I didn't have any Dragon's Claw in my sideboard so I knew this was my worst match.

Game 2:

Had to mull to 6 which opponent was happy about. Fought through two Eidolon of the Great Revel and stabilized at 6 life. Slammed Ral, -3 on Monastery Swiftspear, and +1 until he ulted, countering every burn spell without using a snapcaster. Opponent scooped after I used bolt + mystic sanctuary + ral emblem. Showed me a hand of 3 Searing Blood + 1 Path to Exile (from sb to get rid of titi).

Overall:

I did not lose a single game this FNM but I knew I got very lucky vs Eldrazi Tron Game 2 and burn both games.

Changes to mainboard:

Out: 1 Snow-Covered Mountain In: 1 Steam Vents

Note: Even though most lists run 1 Mountain it still felt really bad having it in my opening hand. This time I wasn't punished but I can't rely on that every time. An additional steam vents keeps me at 5 red sources without blood moon and it acts as an additional Island for Mystic Sanctuary

Changes to sideboard:

Out: Relic of Progenitus In: Shenanigans

Note: Tonight I wasn't against a Stoneforge Mystic deck that my friend uses so I was pretty vulnerable to any artifact deck. Since I already have 6 cards in the sideboard that hate on graveyard decks and only ceremonious rejection for artifacts, I decided to put a recurrable hate card that can help deal with a variety of decks.

snishi on

2 weeks ago

Keeping a running record of how my Blue Moon deck works and how it evolves over time.

1/31/2020 FNM

First time playing Modern since War of the Spark. Wasn't too sure of the meta at my LGS so I packed a little too much gy hate.

Round 1 vs. Dredge

Opponent was playing Dredge with Ox of Agonas.

Game 1:

Blood Moon on t3 limited his options which I Remand-ed back to his hand. No green meant no Life from the Loam to get his 5th land to hard cast the ox. Bounced 4 Prized Amalgam via Thing in the Ice  Flip and attacked for lethal after some burn to the face.

Sideboard for Game 2:

Out: 4 Opt, 1 Force of Negation, 1 Serum Visions

In: 2 Grafdigger's Cage, 2 Anger of the Gods, 2 Ashiok, Dream Render

Game 2:

Started with an Anger of the Gods, Remand, Thing in the Ice, 3 lands, and a Lightning Bolt. T3 opponent casts Cathartic Reunion discarding 2 Stinkweed Imp and a Golgari Thug to dredge for 14. My T3 I remove Narcomoeba, 3 Prized Amalgams and a Bloodghast with Anger of the Gods. Drew the second Anger to keep his board clear. Tried to block Awoken Horror but when I showed Cryptic Command + Mystic Sanctuary he scooped with ~7 card left in library.

Round 2 vs. Eldrazi Tron

Game 1:

Opponent couldn't get t3 tron but managed a Chalice of the Void on 1, no can-trips or bolts for me. Also played a Karn, Scion of Urza and decided to take an Expedition Map to try to get tron instead of a Mind Stone (He forgot that he couldn't cast it with Chalice). Remand-ed a Thought-Knot Seer twice and Cryptic-ed his Reality Smasher which flipped a Thing. Tried to stabilize with a Walking Ballista but before attacks I Archmage's Charm-ed to gain control of his only blocker. Game 2.

Sideboard:

Out: 3 Opt

In: Damping Sphere, Summary Dismissal, Ceremonious Rejection

Game 2:

I had my only Snow-Covered Mountain in my opening hand which threw off my t3 Archmage's Charm and t4 Cryptic. I got lucky when my opponent still couldn't get tron until t5. Couldn't counter a Thought-Knot Seer and he took a titi but I also had a Magmatic Sinkhole to remove it. Kept countering his threats until I managed to get Ral, Izzet Viceroy out, -3 his Ballista on 1, he pings Ral and I keep using his +1 and countering his spells until I managed to ult Ral. He scoops.

Round 3 vs. Rakdos Vampires

Game 1:

Opponent was playing a vampire-themed midrange deck with Vampire Nocturnus, Gifted Aetherborn, Stromkirk Captain, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord along with the standard black cards like Liliana of the Veil and Thoughtseize. T1 Cavern of Souls was a pain but I could still draw a card with remand to dig for removal which I found in a bolt + snapcaster. I won with another snapcaster + bolt.

Sideboard:

Out: 2 Opt

In: 2 Anger of the Gods

Game 2:

Removed Kalitas with Sinkhole and Force of Negation-ed his lotv when he tried to remove a titi which he did remove later. Stabilized at 7 life by slamming a Blood Moon to get rid of Stensia Bloodhall and Lavaclaw Reaches but next turn he played Chandra, Awakened Inferno which I removed via bolt + sinkhole. Had to race him and beat him to death with a snapcaster and a borrower. Won at 2 life.

Round 4 vs. Boros Burn

Game 1:

Had to remand a Boros charm twice until t4 blood moon. Stabilized at 2 life but almost died to Searing Blood on my titi. Beat him to death with an awoken horror.

Sideboard:

Out: 2 Opt

In: 2 Anger of the Gods. At this point I didn't have any Dragonclaws in my sideboard so I knew this was my worst match.

Game 2:

Had to mull to 6 which opponent was happy about. Fought through two Eidolon of the Great Revel and stabilized at 6 life. Slammed Ral, -3 on Swiftspear, and +1 until he ulted, countering every burn spell without using a snapcaster. Opponent scooped after I used bolt + mystic sanctuary + ral emblem. Showed me a hand of 3 Searing Blood + 1 path (from sb to get rid of titi).

Overall:

I did not lose a single game this FNM but I knew I got very lucky vs Eldrazi Tron Game 2 and burn both games.

Changes to mainboard:

Out: 1 snow-covered mountain In: 1 snow-covered island

Changes to sideboard:

Out: TBD, probably relic In: dragon's claw

dingusdingo on Best Counterspells in Commander?

2 weeks ago

Blue

Your very top tier auto-include for lists is going to look like

Your situational includes are going to look like

Other blue stuff is usually just too expensive. Paying over 2 mana for a counterspell just doesn't cut it when there are so many threats for so cheap. Don't pay more than 2 for a counterspell unless it does something wild on top. Counterspells with fewer restrictions on what it can counter are going to be better.

Other Colors

This is where it gets saucy boys

  • Red Elemental Blast Pyroblast are VERY good. In a pod, there is almost definitely blue at the table. Every single red deck can slot these for commander without fear. Do note that REB works against any spell that includes blue (multicolor), while pyro only works against spells that are ONLY blue (monocolor).
  • Fork Reverberate (Twincast) these allow you to copy a counterspell to create a counterspell. More access for red to counterspells. They also conveniently work very well against tutors, ramp, big draw spells, and extra turn spells.
  • Guttural Response Weird hybrid color and somewhat restricted but still a good include in most RG decks.
  • Burnout a bit worse then the elemental blasts as it costs 2 mana and it is limited. The cantrip is nice though
  • Mana Tithe not that good in EDH but give it a whirl I guess
  • Lapse of Certainty costing 3 hurts, but this is more a tempo card than anything.
  • Dash Hopes Don't play this card in EDH lol
  • Withering Boon on the chunkier end at 2 CMC, but in a color that doesn't get much of this. The 3 life and the restriction hurt, but definitely EDH playable. Every deck runs a commander, 99% of which are creatures
  • Imp's Mischief can counter a spell by having it target Mischief, as can Misdirection Shunt Swerve and Ricochet Trap.
  • Veil of Summer 1 mana green Cryptic Command
  • Autumn's Veil Counterspell + silence against UB
  • Bind I bet you didn't even know this card existed. Cantrips. GOOD IN THE YISAN MIRROR MATCH?
  • Avoid Fate Weird protection oriented counterspell
  • Nether Void Mostly ran in stax builds, brutal lockout card
  • Planar Chaos One of my new favorite cards. Brutal with recursion like Hall of Heliod's Generosity. Play when you're ahead
  • Deathgrip Lifeforce These are based if you have any method of color shifting. Realistically, you could run Lifeforce in Momir Hackball. These cards can cause scoops on casual tables lol.
  • Vexing Shusher can render counterspells useless. Similarly, Dosan the Falling Leaf Grand Abolisher Prowling Serpopard Gaea's Herald can all protect against counterspells. Far more marginal but still worthwhile are Hall of Gemstone and Ritual of Subdual for turning off counterspells for opponents.

Lord_Grimm on Take forever

3 weeks ago

Really like the feel and flavor of this build! My only suggestions would be as follows:

This really doesn't appear to be a 'spells' sort of build, only having 20 Instant/Sorcery cards, so both Primal Amulet  Flip and Baral, Chief of Compliance feel a bit out of place. Maybe consider replacing them with whichever of these you like most: Undead Warchief, God-Eternal Oketra, Gisa and Geralf, Sidisi, Undead Vizier, Fallen Shinobi, The Scarab God.

I believe Commander's Sphere is grossly overplayed and is a trap. If you really like the ability to draw a card (which seems like you'll be doing very well already) then maybe consider replacing it with either Mind Stone or Hedron Archive. If color fixing is of higher priority Talisman of Hierarchy, Talisman of Dominance, Talisman of Progress or Gilded Lotus are great replacements.

Given you're in 3 colors, I think replacing Cryptic Command with Arcane Denial might be an easier to hold/cast (though slightly less flexible) upgrade.

As stated before, it seems as though drawing cards won't an issue. Plus having a yard full of goodies might be useful, so Dig Through Time may be a bit redundant if not a straight up non-bow. Replacing it with one of the unused creatures mentioned above may possibly be a better use for that card slot.

Hope these thoughts/suggestions help.

enpc on Best Counterspells in Commander?

3 weeks ago

It entirely depends on what you're playing against. If you're going up against creature heavy metas, you want counterspells that can deal wiht more options. But if you're mainly just trying to stop a player from comboing off (or protecting your combo), cheap, non-creature counterspells are the way to go.

And generally at higher levels of play, Cryptic Command doesn't get run - 4 CMC and trip blue are just too high a price.

As a general rule though, Swan Song is an auto-include in most control decks, Muddle the Mixture is good if it can interact with your win condition (i.e. if you're packing Isochron Scepter/Dramatic Reversal or similar) and Flusterstorm as mentioned is strong.

If this isn't for cEDH, then Disallow and Render Silent are some cards I would lean into since they give you catchall answers. Don't forget you also have stuff like Silence and even Orim's Chant which aren't counterspells but can be used to shut players out of a turn. I also like Mindbreak Trap against storm. It's expensive as far as counterspells go but it's also really good at shutting down uncounterable stuff.

Also worth mentioning, if you're looking to pack a bunch of counterspells, you should also have a proportionally high amount of card draw, especially if you're playing a control deck. Becuase most counterspells are one-for-one, without a good card draw engine you will quickly flounder.

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