Buyback—Discard two cards. (You may discard two cards in addition to any other costs as you cast this spell. If you do, put this card into your hand as it resolves.)
Counter target spell.
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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
2 weeks ago
First, it is strictly worse than other counterspells played unkicked. At 2 mana, Mana Leak costs less and does more. At 3 mana, there are many counterspells that work unconditionally (often with a minor upside), such as Forbid , and there are also counterspells that do more than that, like Voidslime .
So we never want to play it unkicked. Kicked, it's minimum 5 mana for "counter spell unless controller pays 2, and draw a card." This is quite a weak effect for forcing us to leave 5 mana untapped. On top of that, copying it with Verazol does almost nothing - in the majority of scenarios when the copy happens, the only valid target will be the original spell you're countering. But if you "double counter" a spell, one counterspell resolving successfully will cause the other counterspell to fizzle, as it no longer has any valid targets. When it fizzles, you don't get any of the card's effects - that includes the draw effect - and thus you can't get double the card draws via Verazol's copy.
Therefore the card has little synergy with Verazol despite being kicker, and isn't great on its own. There are some odd edge cases it might be better than another counterspell, but they're very rare.
2 weeks ago
Let’s be clear and open this by admitting I’d never considered building a mono-blue deck before now. In fact, I can clearly remember only one in all my years on playing, and we didn’t finish the game (he left for a Killer Instinct tournament). That said, blue forms the backbone of several favorite decks. Those of you who have braved the mono-blue challenge, I salute. Or rather, I salute those of you who didn’t shuffle islands and counterspells together until you had ninety-nine and then threw Talrand, Sky Summoner on top as the world’s most unimaginative cherry.
That lone blue deck I saw? The first spell in the game gets played. Mr. Talrand peers at it, then nods and says “I’ll allow it.” You could see his name appearing in neon at the top of the table’s hit list, and he hadn’t introduced himself or even played a spell yet. This, I think, is what a lot of folk unjustly assume of mono-blue: that attitude, that play style. But at its best, blue is a beautiful game of dancing on the edge, bringing grace and guile to the table beyond anything the other colors can manage.
Blue has enough mass in squelchy things from the deep to square off with anything but the swollest green, and the islandwalk to not bother. Curse of the Swine and Rite of Replication are only two of the many mean, mean things you can do to a board state. Just the knowledge that counters exist leaves blue players resigned to suspicious looks whenever opponents so much as breathe. And yet, for all this power, blue truly outshines the other colors in three areas: draw, artifact manipulation, and control. Let’s talk commanders for these archetypes, shall we? Again, please bear in mind the point isn’t to discuss the competitive but rather to celebrate the thematic. Happily, blue has a bounty of legends loaded with both!
Ah, Blue Sun's Zenith . Only blue can kill with this peculiar species of lunatic kindness. While there isn’t a mono-blue commander that has this exact effect… yet… it highlights the singular relationship blue has with drawing cards. Whether you want to draw or deck, if you like a full hand then look no further.
Tribal is an archetype available to all colors. While I’m trying to steer away from that as a theme, we must talk Azami if we talk draw engines. There are many, many good wizards, and her ladyship is an absolute powerhouse of card advantage. Arcanis the Omnipotent is omnijealous, bitterly sulking in the 99.
For the more political blue players we go once more to Kamigawa. He’s little, group-huggy, and a fantastic choice for those who appreciate the challenge of treating their commander as an afterthought. Besides, nobody resents an extra card until you drop the sphinx. You know the one.
Can’t be countered. No maximum hand size. Whenever your opponent goes noncreature, draw a card. Blink. I hope the Scots are pleased, because Nessie is quite the monster. Seven mana is a lot, but so, so worth it to play this unholy avatar of blue. Give thanks and happy chortles as she pours cards into your endless hand and flickers past everything that isn’t Molten Disaster .
Where Red abuses artifacts the way black abuses… well, everything, blue takes it to full symbiosis, protecting, enhancing, and eating the pancreas of anyone who offends their precious toys. Blue has the tutors, the synergies, the splendiferous Tezzeret the Seeker . If you like artifacts but aren’t quite crazy enough to go full colorless, blue is your in.
In a singleton game, tutors are king. Long live Arcum. Bonus points if you take out somebody’s combo piece with him while taking a break from digging for yours.
Here’s a pancreas eater for you: theft-by-tutor is unorthodox, but undeniably fun. Blue delights in theft and, as anyone who has siblings will tell you, stolen treats taste better. You’ll never appreciate using your own high-powered tin crap half so much as using your opponent’s high-powered tin crap. Stockpile extra turns and go shopping on the opposition’s dime.
You talk blue artifacts, this guy is in the conversation, if not THE conversation. Lord High Wombo Himself is not here because he makes a goon. Lord High Wombo Himself is not even here because he has mightily potent mana sink if you break infinite. Lord High Wombo Himself is here because of that middle line, turning things like Winter Orb from “our” problem to “your” problem, and that’s just the tip of this degenerate iceberg. Go nuts.
When my wife tells me not to break my toys, this is NOT what she means. No other color manages the sheer mind-bogglery of bouncing, tapping, stealing, and otherwise screwing with other people’s toys without breaking them. No other color boasts this heinous plurality of extra turns, to say nothing of counterspells. Control is the glory and the terror of blue: Laboratory Maniac might take the game for you, but it’s control that will get him there.
Blue is the heavyweight champion of yoink, and Memnarch holds the belt. Just be ready for everyone to treat you like a male dog with a full bladder whenever he takes the field, especially if you had your Mycosynth Lattice in the morning.
Honestly, the pay X bit of this is only tangential for me. Blue is all about minimal force, and tapping something whenever you Opt has very interesting applications. After all, the phrase “doesn’t untap during their untap step” is patented in blue ink. I’m not even sure building around this is a good idea, but you have to admit that Ol’ Gadwick is frightening to any command damage chaser who left their Lightning Greaves at home, especially when Dismiss into Dream is lurking.
We all have strong feelings about counterspells, one way or the other. Forbid is a personal favorite. While Baral’s not that special in a vacuum, he offers hellacious support if you really are all about counterspam. He won’t break the game on his own, but the play-style he encourages certainly has potential for other broken things. Like friendships. Or noses.
And, for my personal favorite... I love perpetually affordable commanders. Rock a few token generators and you might go a whole game paying a single blue mana for this marvel. Sacrifice artifacts are suddenly scary, Sacrificing them suddenly isn’t, and your opponents are suddenly scrabbling for exile effects and that wretched bog. Please remember to bring your self-milling kit, a Mirran Spy , a Mycosynth Golem , and a jar for the tears of your enemies (no sense wasting all that blue mana). First prize if you win with the Phyrexian half of Mirrodin Besieged .
That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back next week for Black!
Prior Articles: Mono-White
3 months ago
Got my start playing a RG Madness deck with the same cards! Fun deck to pilot!
3 months ago
Great list! You might like these: Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar , Goldspan Dragon , Inspiring Statuary , Blinkmoth Urn , Quicksmith Genius , Arcbound Crusher , Spear Spewer , Runed Stalactite , Amorphous Axe , Embraal Gear-Smasher , Brallin, Skyshark Rider Flip, Forbid , Mystic Speculation , Whim of Volrath , Haze of Rage , Spark Double
6 months ago
Nice list! I've also been working on Araumi. In case you want to shuffle stuff around, Aphetto Alchemist can go infinite with Mesmeric Orb by itself, without being Encored. Alchemist can target itself with its ability.
Obsessive Stitcher is also cool since it has a looting and reanimate effect all on one.
Basically, have Cavalier on the board, and Glasspool ETB as a copy of Cavalier.
Sac the Mimic with the sac outlet and its copy of the 2nd Cavalier trigger goes on the stack and can target Glasspool Mimic that is now in the grave yard. As Glasspool Mimic ETBs again, have it become a copy of Cavalier & repeat.
Forbid can also work as reusable interaction
6 months ago
Testing out some temporary changes: Dakmor Salvage, Golgari Thug, Darkblast, Body Double, Fierce Guardianship, Obsessive Stitcher, and Unearth over Basalt Monolith, Demonic Tutor, Mana Drain, Notion Thief, Court of Cunning, Academy Ruins, and Forbid.
7 months ago
Amazing deck! Love this idea and will probably end up building something similar on release!
I personally don't like to run Mana Drain as it's 1: A bit expensive (Yay reprints!)
Finally gonna suggest Mind Over Matter as an obvious alternative combo finisher paired with Temple Bell, so long as you draw into free interaction Fierce Guardianship or FoW ect. You're all set to milling out your buddies out with card draw.
Great deck, big fan of a lack of Stax pieces and flying under the radar, might be my favourite azorious soft control deck!