Venser, Shaper Savant

Venser, Shaper Savant

Legendary Creature — Human Wizard

Flash (You may cast this spell at any time you could cast an instant.)

When Venser, Shaper Savant enters the battlefield, return target spell or permanent to its owner's hand.

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Printings View all

Set Rarity
Modern Masters 2017 Edition (MM3) Rare
From the Vault: Twenty (V13) Mythic Rare
Future Sight (FUT) Rare

Combos Browse all

Legality

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

Venser, Shaper Savant occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.04%

Blue: 0.29%

Venser, Shaper Savant Discussion

Tzefick on Pattern Recognition #136 - Counters

7 hours ago

I think counter magic is perfectly fine as a concept. It's a way to deal with issues, before they actually become an issue and it examplifies one of blue's main weaknesses: Difficulty in dealing with the board. I used to hate counterspells when I got into Magic again (during Lorwyn, damn Faeries), as they simply seem like a disability to play the game; "I want to play something." - "You may not". I have since accepted their place in the game and their importance.

The reason I still do dislike counter magic is because it exists to provide a strength to cover a weakness. A weakness that since then has been partially filled out by strong answers to the board over the course of Magic's history. One of the main offenders is Cyclonic Rift , especially present in Commander and other multiplayer formats that are significantly slower than Duel Magic (1 on 1). Other offenders are cards that really should be enchantments, but opted for a more nefarious although simpler route: Curse of the Swine and Reality Shift , and their predecessors; Pongify and Rapid Hybridization .

As said by Berry in the article; Blue has the ability to change something from one thing to another. We have also seen various types of such polymorphing done in enchantment form; Darksteel Mutation , Lignify , Frogify . All of this makes perfect sense in what blue is capable of doing.

However doing a change irreversibly like the Curse of the Swine or Reality Shift, is giving hard answers to a color whose weakness is hard answers - at least on the board. Yeah, you replace them with a creature, but a much weaker creature and if a token, one you can permanently remove by having it change zone.


Another issue with counter magic is the tempo shift. The opponent casts a 5 mana spell, you cast a 2-3 mana counter spell. Suddenly there's a disparity of 2-3 mana in the counterspeller's favor. It is mainly equalized because the blue player must have ready mana, resulting in that player not developing their own board state. However that can again be offset by utilizing instant speed spells or abilities that either advance board state or card draw for the blue player.

If the blue player didn't have these chances to apply disparity in mana spent and benefit, the color would struggle to have meaningful strengths, I know that. However the issue is in finding the fine line between how much mana disparity is acceptable. The cat is out of the bag on this one, as there have already been printed numerous versions of unconditional counterspells that have set a precedent for what blue counterspells are allowed to do and how cheaply.


If you compare a counterspell to a destroy spell, the main difference is obviously zone of application and also timing of application. One proactive, one reactive (well actually both are reactive, but you probably know why I have to make a distinction). Reactive spells provide a lot more flexibility in when you're required to use them. Their main problem is that sometimes reactive spells are too late to cause the same mana disparity that a counterspell does. As soon as that permanent hits the battlefield, an ability may come into effect, be it triggered, static or active. A reactive spell cannot avoid that.

Also take into account that blue can deal with any spell in existence, with the possible exception of spells with Split Second, specifically designed to be uninteractive - and still they can be interacted with . If there's a spell that is uncounterable, you can get creative with Venser, Shaper Savant , Time Stop , Mindbreak Trap , Ashiok's Erasure , there's load of ways to get around "uncounterable". Blue is also the color that will straight up see a threat on the board and simply take it for themselves, with Control Magic , Gather Specimens , Blatant Thievery , Expropriate . Effectively a removal, card draw and threat all in one.

No other color can boast the same catch all mechanic. White comes close for something in the same ballpark, but it is still just a bleak imitation - as countermagic goes. And evidently look at that price tag.


In the earlier days of Magic, blue was not the only user of countermagic. I feel like you could provide other colors with more conditional types of countermagic, to better even it out. And not just anti countermagic like Guttural Response . Blue would still be the best, but not the sole user. - White is a color that protects itself, so something like Hindering Light is the most likely avenue to take White Countermagic, anything that touches my stuff - go away. Think Equinox in terms of templating but not necessarily that specific. Giving their spells on the stack protection from a color or supertype or plain "old" Hexproof. - Green already has an affinity to provide hexproof to their stuff, Heroic Intervention and Veil of Summer , so expanding on that seems reasonable. - Red could go the Fork / Shunt route but is unlikely to get countermagic that straight up nullifies other types of spells than spells with targets. - Black is kinda difficult. The usual is just to tack an alternative payment of life, cards or permanents on an otherwise Blue card. Black already have an indirect proactive answer through selective discard, like Duress . The issue is these are all sorcery speed, so if an opponent suddenly starts drawing a lot of cards, it can be difficult for black to be proactive in time. So perhaps just providing Duress at instant speed through a condition would be acceptable. Something like "Instant Duress may be cast as an instant if an opponent has drawn two or more cards this turn." / "Instant Duress may be cast as an instant if the target opponent has 5 or more cards in hand". Any kind of variation on that.

Of course some would talk about color pie bleeding/breaking, but ain't that already happening by giving blue hard removal (by proxy) and large scale soft board removal? I know some of these issues are mainly aimed at multiplayer formats, but we cannot ignore that Magic has grown to be something else than only Duel Magic (1 on 1). Blue's counter magic is here to stay, but is it too much to ask that the other colors can get even slightly in on the action if not directly, then indirectly by interacting more with the stack?

Green has one of the best palettes available to them for a slightly slower format; mana ramp, card draw, large threats, ability to scale well, protective measures, explosive finishers and a hell lot of combo potential and pieces.

I think Green is only beaten slightly by Black in terms of Commander due to tutors in a singleton format. And because Black can cheat mana costs or pays differently, has access to card draw and good finishers, along many more combo pieces.

Blue is one of the only colors that reliably can stop combo or finishers dead in their tracks. Reversibly, they are the color best suited to keep those combos or finishers uninterrupted. They have the best access to card advantage and resource manipulation. And extra turns.

There's a reason that many cEDH decks are mainly some variation of Sultai colors (Green, black and blue) with maybe one added color or full WUBRG. I think this picture would be more diverse, if more colors became able to interact better. The ability to interact is one of the core foundations and strengths of Magic. Counter magic is a pillar of this interaction, more colors should find a way to do it or something similar.

fragarach97 on The value army of the God Pharaoh

1 day ago

Always love to see a Scab God list that isn't tribal zombies. My build isn't up here yet, so I can't link you to it, but if you're going for a reanimator strategy then two cards that are invaluable are Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur as a powerful win condition that can fuel further reanimation plays, and Champion of Wits is a phenomenal early body that digs you deeper, fuels reanimation, and has great reach if Scab God himself keeps getting answered with his own Eternalize. Other than that, I can reccomend Venser, Shaper Savant as a strong tempo play that, of course, is a damn fine target to reanimate to get that instant speed disruption twice. I'd also reccomend finding a way to slot in Baleful Strix , as I feel your curve is a bit top-heavy and the Strix is a solid value card (that you can get twice). A personal staple of mine in 90% of the blue decks I play and build is Thada Adel, Acquisitor as she has powerful utility at every point in the game to pur you ahead at virtually no cost in resources to yourself and can stop powerful artifact-based combos before they happen if you happen to find those troubling you over in your playgroup. At the very least, she's a repeatable ramp spell, though I do understand she makes people VERY salty so if you're worried about that feel free to disregard her. One last suggestion I have that isn't exactly budget friendly is Vendilion Clique for a combination reason between Venser and Strix. It's repeatable and powerful interruption in your deck and is lower to the ground, but I understand that they're a bit out of some people's price range. She also works great as a one-two punch with Venser himself to have your opponent "put that thing back where it came from or so help me".

Anyways, +1 from me for the Scab God representation! He's a hell of a fun deck.

Joker4242 on Island Secrets

6 days ago

Honestly. It’s a great card to protect the THINGS without worrying about your opponent playing counterspells and the like to disrupt protection spells. Also nice at bouncing Vendilion Clique or Venser, Shaper Savant .

Last_Laugh on Marchesa, the Black Rose BLH

3 weeks ago

Metallic Mimic names whatever etb/death trigger is most abuseable at that time. You just sac Mimic to rename the creature type as needed.

Dragon for Kokusho, the Evening Star Zombie for Gray Merchant of Asphodel or Vindictive Lich , etc. I've even named bird just to draw 4 cards per round with Baleful Strix . Wizard is also fun... it covers Lich above, Sower of Temptation / Venser, Shaper Savant etc. and it immediately protects Marchesa.

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