Essence Backlash

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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper Duel Commander Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Pioneer Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Essence Backlash


Counter target creature spell. Essence Backlash deals damage equal to that spell's power to its controller.

wallisface on Question about cards that utilize …

5 months ago

9-lives addressing each of your comments in order:

  • keeping in mind my list isa rough draft, it still is packed with a lot more win conditions than a typical control deck should have. Namely, Boros Reckoner+Blasphemous Act do massive damage, and then the game becomes fairly easy to close out with the various creature copy/steal spells.

  • I’ve already explained multiple times why Ionize and Essence Backlash are terrible counterspells. The small amount of damage they deal doesn’t redeem them - they’re still heavily overcosted and too niche in application. Control decks win by controlling the board and then presenting a win condition when your opponent is low on resources. An extra 2-4 incidental damage won’t matter, especially when your opponent has been given soo much free-reign to do-what-they-want.

  • the reason I suggested Control Magic over Clone is that Control Magic steals their creature, taking something from the opponent. Clone only copies it, meaning the opponent still has their stuff and you’ll likely end up just 1-for-1 trading thise creatures.

  • Your quote of ”Also, the aikido archetype requires that I do damage whenever I counter. That's basically what aikido does.” is just plain wrong. That does not fit in with the glossary definition of the archtype provided above, nor does it fit-in with what actual Aikido lists (seen in edh) try to achieve. You’ve created your own warped definition of the term, and are now holding yourself ransom to it.

  • your quote of Spellweaver Eternal is an aikido card because it does damage by blocking.” - not what the card does, not what Aikido decks in magic want to do.

  • the land count in your deck is most-definitely too low, but i can see you’re not going to see reason here. Doing some stats using this site, with your current land count you’re going to miss playing your 3rd land on-time 45% of the time! You miss your 4th land 65% of the time.

Daveslab2022 on Question about cards that utilize …

5 months ago


I think what people are trying to say here is that you would be better off either making your deck more control-y with less finishers, or less control-y with a more well rounded creature base.

I do also recommend streamlining your deck.

In the list that wallisface threw together you win by controlling the board early, landing one of your threats, and protecting it to the end of the game. That’s exactly how a control deck functions.

And you’re wrong, you actually do want to counter early game spells because you don’t have a good way to remove them depending on their impact. You have 0 removal currently in your deck.

If your opponent lands an early Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer or you’re playing against an Elves deck and they flood the board on turn 2/3 before even a single one of your counters is playable.

Essence Backlash is not a good card. It’s too situational, and even if you are playing against a heavy creature deck, dedicating 4 mana to a counter is too much, even if you do get to do a little damage with it. You need cheaper counters to get “underneath” your opponent. This means you can play a 2-3 mana spell on turn 4/5 and still hold up 2 mana for a Counterspell.

9-lives on Question about cards that utilize …

5 months ago

The Question with that list is, wallisface, how the heck am I going to win? You can't counter your way into winning if you don't get at their life points. That's why I'm running Ionize and Essence Backlash. Especially the latter would be great against big creatures. And, every single one of my wizards benefits from Harmonic Prodigy, so I don't understand what you mean by my deck not having much use from it. Since I'm running budget, and already have Clone, I'd rather run that than Control Magic. I already own all of the cards in my deck except for having to buy Irencrag Pyromancer. The only non-budget things in my deck are the lands. Also, the aikido archetype requires that I do damage whenever I counter. That's basically what aikido does. I deleted my planeswalker and the fatespinner. 75 cards is as low as I'll go now.

wallisface on Question about cards that utilize …

5 months ago

The strongest card with this effect is probably the one dominating Standard at the moment - Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.

However, assuming you're trying to make tweaks to this deck of yours, you have much bigger issues to worry about:

  • Ponder is banned in Modern, you can't run that card.

  • You're running 79 cards, which is waaay over the 60 card limit, and will lead your deck to being very inconsistent and clumsy.

  • Dialing your currently landbase to 60 cards, you're only running the equivalent of 18 lands, which is WAAAY too low considering your mana curve. Burn decks run 19 lands and only play spells costing 1-2 mana. Your deck looks like it needs to be able to reliably hit 3-4 lands to be able to do much of anything. imo you need to be running at least 23-24 lands in a 60-card deck (that's 30-32 lands in a 79 card deck).

  • You're running some really suboptimal spells here. In modern you never want to be spending more than 2 mana for a counterspell - Essence Backlash and Ionize are both severely underwhelming (control decks never win by dealing 2 damage. They will however often lose by not being able to counter an important spell in the first few turns of the game). There are also a ton of much better drawspells than Deliberate (like Serum Visions or Consider)

  • Your deck has no clear direction. Cards like Basri Ket and The Wanderer are both really weak and have no real purpose here. It's very hard to tell what this deck is actually trying to achieve, and that is going to make it play really awkwardly and make it harder for you to secure wins.

  • Harmonic Prodigy and Spellweaver Eternal both want to be in aggressive, pro-active decks, but that's not what they've been allowed, as the rest of the deck looks like it wants to be playing super defensively. However, if you're aiming to be playing something more controlley, you're running waaay too many creatures, and waaay too little interaction.

9-lives on Aikido Archetype

8 months ago

Alright, taking into account advice, I am searching for more wizard cards that are useful. I am removing Archmage Emeritus as open to suggestion, and replacing 4x Essence Backlash with 4x Counterspell

9-lives on Aikido Archetype

9 months ago

WhiteEagle_12 this is an aikido deck. That means no burn without countering or preventing or blocking. I need Essence Backlash for that very reason instead of Lightning Bolt. I've already played a burn deck before, and I don't particularly like it. Gods Willing isn't what I'm looking for either. Thanks for the feedback, though.

9-lives on

11 months ago

I've used Ionize and Essence Backlash more than intended. Archmage Emeritus with Harmonic Prodigy has been great in drawing up to four cards with one instant per turn. Drawing power is definitely something not to be denied. Spellweaver Eternal is basically a burn card against blocking, but still great. I have generally been able to take my opponents into long games of attrition. Gonna try out my skill at the next FNM with this deck and see how it fares.

9-lives on

11 months ago

I'll define aikido as follows:

  1. Receiving damage, then dealing damage; exempli gratia: Deflecting Palm, Boros Reckoner.

  2. Causing damage through combat by using a defense against them; exempli gratia: Spellweaver Eternal, Eternal of Harsh Truths.

  3. Preventing spells and dealing damage through this prevention; exempli gratia: Ionize, Essence Backlash.

Do you see the common thread in this? It's that there is a transformation of receiving damage into dealing damage, or preventing damage into doing damage, or if the opponent prevents damage then causing that damage. This is essentially the aikido martial art's goal. Aikido doesn't deal direct damage like a burn deck. It seeks to simply transform damage.

I know that in order to be useful as an archetype it has to be literally a useful gameplay. Although, the cards Boros Reckoner, especially when paired with Gideon's Sacrifice, and Deflecting Palm have won me a few games alone, and I've only played a few games with a burn deck and my testudo deck. The two former are excellent when someone becomes too cocky and swings with all (s)he's got. However, a archetype will not always be the best, just ilke a defense-to-damage deck is very difficult to play.

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