Ionize and other Counters in Jeskai

Pioneer forum

Posted on April 2, 2021, 12:46 p.m. by 9-lives

Is Ionize a good card for countering in Jeskai? Are there any better ones? Is Absorb better even though I don't have any cards that function off of lifegain? The best 'counter any target spell' cards that I can find are 3 CMC or more, and Ionize just adds to it by dealing 2 damage. I already have 4x Izzet Charm . Are there any Jeskai cards that are like Izzet Charm but counter all spells yet have multiple effects to choose from?

legendofa says... #2

3 CMC (or MV now, I think) is the standard for general-use hard counters at this point. Any less, and it's either going to be restricted in what it can counter , have an out for the opponent , or both .

April 2, 2021 1:32 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #3

Insidious Will is a modal card that counters all spells, though I'm not sure the modes are worth the extra mana

April 2, 2021 1:50 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #4

April 2, 2021 1:51 p.m.

Mtg_Mega_Nerds says... #5

Not exactly. I am not an expert at Pioneer, but I don't think that Archmage's Charm or Counterspell is legal in the format. Those would be probably your best option. However, I would consider A combination of counterspells to cover everything, like Dovin's Veto , Counterflux , and Disallow for Absorb If any of those cards are legal. Hope that helps!

April 2, 2021 5:32 p.m.

9-lives says... #6

Ahh thanks Mtg_Mega_Nerds! Disallow is much better as I can counter more with it, and it still costs 3 CMC.

BTW, on Disallow does it mean 'mana abilities' like Sylvan Caryatid or Llanowar Elves would have? Because activated abilities already cost mana.

April 3, 2021 1:59 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #7

Exactly, tapping Llanowar Elves for mana, just like tapping your land for mana, doesn't use the stack, and therefore can't be responded to. It doesn't limit itself to creatures either, tapping your Skyclave Relic also counts as a mana ability.

Activated abilities do have costs, but they don't need to cost mana. Thermo-Alchemist tapping to deal 1 damage to each opponent is also an activated ability, and tapping the creature counts as cost. The cost in an ability is basically everything before the ":" in the rules text. Which means that tapping your land for mana also is an activated ability. When you look at something like Darksteel Citadel , you see they're worded like: : add . That's why spells or abilities that counter other abilities almost always have to specify they can't interact with mana abilities.

For example with Zhur-Taa Druid , when you tap it for mana, the mana is added, and only then goes the damage trigger on the stack, you'd be able to Disallow the damage, because it's a triggered ability, but not the mana added by Zhur-Taa Druid , because that was a mana ability.

Hope that clears it up

April 3, 2021 3 p.m.

Erza421 says... #9

Quench is the best 2 mana option, but Essence Scatter and Negate can be used in the sideboard. Disallow is by far the best 3 mana option, with Ionize after it, unless you have no card draw or top deck manipulation, in which case you should look at Sinister Sabotage and Dissolve

April 3, 2021 4:23 p.m.

9-lives says... #10

Ahhh thanks plakjekaas and Erza421. I see that Disallow has great versatility to block abilities as well as spells, but I wonder how I'm going to spend 3 mana to block one ability? Considering I don't have many countering control cards, I think it would actually be more useful in my deck, since I won't be always countering their creature spells or whatever gives them triggered and activated abilities, like artifacts or enchantments. I'm only running two of these cards in my deck. However, I find Ionize more useful just because of the damage dealt, along with countering whatever from being used. And I have plenty of card draw, so those aren't really useful for me. Thanks for the heads up on Disallow though, as I kinda figured it would be better, and I think i plan on using that for the aforementioned reasons.

April 3, 2021 7:53 p.m.

TriusMalarky says... #11

Actually, I'd say that, when it comes to control, Disallow and Absorb are the best in Pioneer. And control is the only deck that wants 3+ MV counterspells.

The reason is that, when you're playing the long game, 2 damage is worthless. Your win con should be scary enough that 2 life is entirely irrelevant to the equation. However, gaining 3 life can buy you a turn.

Disallow can interact with almost everything, but is still a 1-for-1. Absorb, because of the 3 life, can be a 1.5-for-1 if played on curve. Not a straight 2-for-1, but the 3 life is worth enough that it will give you a very much needed edge against aggressive decks.

April 5, 2021 10:35 a.m.

9-lives says... #12

Thanks for the advice, TriusMalarkyI'm not used to hearing MV, but I read about it on the wiki, and it comes from Strixhaven...? I think I'd like to run Disallow just because if there are any powerful triggers or abilities, I can counter them even though they're already on the battlefield, and on top of that, if I don't want to do that, I can counter a spell. And in my deck I am running aikido-burn-lifelink pioneer deck. I've always been told that lifegain in small amounts are useless, such as running Heroes' Reunion which is probably the best lifegain card in pioneer, and would be better used to sacrifice life for spell effects, like Thoughtseize or untapping a shock land. Do you know of any synergies for lifegain on my deck, considering that I plan on using my instants and sorceries for lifegain, which would make Absorb doubly useful? Perhaps you'd like to comment on it in my deck thread?

Aikido of the Inward Eye

Pioneer 9-lives


April 5, 2021 6:07 p.m.

Argy says... #13

I also like Dissolve

You rarely use Disallow for anything other than to counter a spell.

With Dissolve you also get to Scry.

April 16, 2021 10:30 a.m.

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