Black Counterspells?

  • #1
    Planar Chaos gave white a couple counter spells that where color shifted and a limited new one and it gave black a punisher counter spell that was also sort of color shifted. If I remember right there where articles justifying both colors getting counterspells on their own as long as the white ones where only temporary and the black ones where punisher style.

    My question is, now that white is getting a more expensive Memory Lapse should black be getting some punisher style counter spells. I would say yes it should. Sure Dash Hopes by itself wasn't good and it really didn't interact with any of the other punisher black spells they printed, but if they where to print 2 or 3 more simular black counter spells, then the repetative effects might be enough to base a deck around.

    For example, if they where to reprint Dash Hopes along with a one black mana Dim Hopes that would cost 3 life to counter and a three black mana Destroy Hopes that would cost 7 life to counter, then the shear amount of life loss that you could cause through these counter spells would make opponents abit more weary about losing life to any one of them.

    And it doesn't have to be life loss all the time either. You can work in other black abilities into their counter spells. How about black be given a counter spell that can be countered if an opponent sacrifices a land, or sacrifices a creature or two, or who has to discard a random card from their hand?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not that permission deck fanboi by any stretch of the imagiation. In fact, I'm rather leary of them. But that said, I wouldn't mind counterspells being pushed abit, if they where spread out over 3 colors instead of all of them being in one.

    What do you guys think of the idea of black getting counterspells as well as white?

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  • #2
    I like it. Dash Hopes was a great concept, but poorly executed. The punisher mechanic is a good mechanic, just all the cards it's appeared on haven't been pushed as far as they could be.

    Something like this wouldn't even be much of a stretch:

    Remove Soul Edict 1B
    Instant
    Counter target creature spell unless its controller sacrifices a creature.

    I'm a bit wary of giving black the ability to counter enchantments unless the punish cost was always available (like paying life), but everything else should be fine.

    Actually, I'm not even sure it has to involve punisher:

    Pre-emptive Spike B
    Instant
    As an additional cost to play ~, sacrifice a creature. Counter target creature spell.
  • #3
    Quote from the_fish
    Pre-emptive Spike B
    Instant
    As an additional cost to play ~, sacrifice a creature. Counter target creature spell.

    That would be a sick addition to Faries or B/W Token deck. Maybe too good. B/G elves could use it as well, sacrifice your mana dork or brid to counter a wrath or cuel ultimatium?
  • #4
    Disrupting Chant BB
    Instant (Rare)
    Counter target spell unless its controller discards two cards.

    Maybe a little too strong?
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  • #5
    That would be a sick addition to Faries or B/W Token deck. Maybe too good. B/G elves could use it as well, sacrifice your mana dork or brid to counter a wrath or cuel ultimatium?


    That's why I made it "creature spell".

    Giving black the ability to hard-counter enchantments seems a bit wrong - I know blue can do it too, but this 'responding to something being played' thing has been with blue from the start.

    @audiox: Tricky. If they could always choose the 'out', I'd love it, but as it is it's a hard counter if they have less than two cards in hand. However, modifying it makes it lose elegance.

    Maybe:

    Disrupting Cry B (or "Anti-Topdeck Ritual")
    Instant
    Counter target spell unless its controller discards a card.
  • #6
    Quote from audiox
    Disrupting Chant BB
    Instant (Rare)
    Counter target spell unless its controller discards two cards.

    Maybe a little too strong?

    Maybe a little too weak.
    It would suck in late game. At best, it's just a "target opponent discards to cards" at Instant speed. While that's not bad by itself, it'll be somehow worse than Dash Hopes, which I think is an awesome card and I use it all the time.:D

    EDIT: And it's RARE?! Should be uncommon, at most.

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  • #7
    imo, black, can get counterspell, but a black mage has to pay hard. As always black gets some aspects of diff. colors, but pay it mostly with life and additional casing costs
  • #8
    Quote from *.sdf
    imo, black, can get counterspell, but a black mage has to pay hard. As always black gets some aspects of diff. colors, but pay it mostly with life and additional casing costs


    Agreed. They should have to go the Abjure way. Pay hard, counter hard.
  • #9
    Quote from audiox
    Disrupting Chant BB
    Instant (Rare)
    Counter target spell unless its controller discards two cards.

    Maybe a little too strong?


    This looks most like what I've envisioned, though I prefer a steeper cost for both players.

    Tourach's Denial 1BB (maybe even straight triple black)
    Instant (uncommon)
    Counter target spell unless it's controller discards 2 cards at random from his or her hand.
    If a spell is countered this way, it's controller may discard a card at random to put the card into his or her hand instead into his or her graveyard.
  • #10
    Tourach's Denial 1BB (maybe even straight triple black)
    Instant (uncommon)
    Counter target spell unless it's controller discards 2 cards at random from his or her hand.
    If a spell is countered this way, it's controller may discard a card at random to put the card into his or her hand instead into his or her graveyard.

    Now, THAT's more like it! I agree, it should be BBB to make it more hard, otherwise it's kinda broken.:-/

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  • #11
    Its kinda broken? Strictly worse Cancel in different color is kinda broken? And changing one generic mana to colored one makes it not so kinda broken?

    Well anyway, I agree that Dash Hopes concept should be explored a bit. But Black doesnt seem to be the color that gives choices. Im with the Pay hard, counter hard opinion.

    As an additional cost to play -, sacrifice a creature seems a reasonably black drawback.
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  • #12
    I think the 1BB vs. BBB argument is one that can only really be settled with playtesting.

    Also, I think this card is pretty far from broken at 3. It's a conditional counter that, on important aggressive spells, will play mostly like Memory Lapse. On vital answers, more like Tourach's Chant. Point is, it gives your opponent options, the inherent weakness of all punisher cards.

    Essentially, I think this is 2nd tier counter magic (in standard; eternally, more like 4th or 5th), much like Lapse of Certainty. If they wanted to push off-color counters, they could print it at BB.

    Edit: Sarnath'd
    Last edited by ducttape4yoursoul: 1/3/2009 2:17:53 PM
  • #13
    Quote from DarkTzar
    What do you guys think of the idea of black getting counterspells as well as white?


    I couldn't get on board with it. I just did not feel like it was a black spell. The words 'counter' existed there, but to believe it I had to swallow "oh it's punisher..." and be content. I wasn't.

    Counterspells exist in the part of Blue which is closer to White, Logic. If they are White, they are part of Order. Symmetries do exist in the Pie in uncontroversial cases, and if you believe there's something to that, it rules out counters being in Black.

    Black gets to say what goes. Black can take action and change things how it wants. But it doesn't stop things. Anything you do, it can try to undo, with destruction, or killing. But I don't think it is supposed to control magic.

    It doesn't play nice with counters anyway. Recall particularly recent articles from MaRo. Blue waits for things to happen. Blue tries to solve the problem exactly but Black just wants it over with. Counters have a pensiveness, a reactiveness, and a precision-focus that is at odds with Black's identity.
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  • #14
    Quote from Horseshoe_Hermit
    I couldn't get on board with it. I just did not feel like it was a black spell. The words 'counter' existed there, but to believe it I had to swallow "oh it's punisher..." and be content. I wasn't.

    Counterspells exist in the part of Blue which is closer to White, Logic. If they are White, they are part of Order. Symmetries do exist in the Pie in uncontroversial cases, and if you believe there's something to that, it rules out counters being in Black.

    Black gets to say what goes. Black can take action and change things how it wants. But it doesn't stop things. Anything you do, it can try to undo, with destruction, or killing. But I don't think it is supposed to control magic.

    It doesn't play nice with counters anyway. Recall particularly recent articles from MaRo. Blue waits for things to happen. Blue tries to solve the problem exactly but Black just wants it over with. Counters have a pensiveness, a reactiveness, and a precision-focus that is at odds with Black's identity.


    QFT, even though I'm a die hard black mage.

    In addition, to the flavor argument against black counterspells, I'll supply mechanical reasons: Black already has discard, which if you think about them, are usually just preemptive coutnerspells. Functionally, black is already attacking cards before they hit play, just in a much more aggressive fashion than blue.

    White could have counterspells (I don't like them anymore than black counterspells) because of its reactive nature but black does not because it already has discard.

    Also, a major weakness of discard, and since discard is by and large a black ability, a major weakness of black is that it can't deal with cards that are just drawn and played. For creatures this is alright, since black has removal by the fist full, but artifacts and enchantments can still sneak past discard spells if a player just draws and plays them (assuming discard is not an instant).

    I feel that this is a crucial weakness of black that should be maintained, since the most efficient black hosers tend to be enchantments (compost, karma, etc.) White with counterspells, while a stretch, isn't as big a deal since white can already handle cards of almost any permanent type.

    A sufficient weakness for white should be that the color of narrow mindess can't draw cards. I would much rather see more black draw than black counterspells since its 1. already in black's pie, 2. would help distinguish black control from white control.

    Letting all three control colors (blue, white, black) have counterspells would lessen the major differences between the three colors.
  • #15
    Would reprinting Withering Boon be fair? 1B and 3 life to counter a creature?

    I'd feel more comfortable if those counters were more than one color if not just blue.
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  • #16
    I really would like to see other colors get counters. In my mind, it doesn't make a lot of sense why blue gets the universal removal while everyone else is left in the dust. Green can't kill creatures, red can't kill enchantments, black can't kill anything but creatures (but it's really good at that), blue can't kill lands, and white can't kill lands.

    In my mind, open counterspells should never be printed. I love Negate; Remove Soul really should be black. Why does blue get removal for everything? The only thing it can't do well is mass removal, but it doesn't have to if it gets to draw cards.

    I think it's time for black to get the creature counters and white to get something (apparently it's becoming the tempo color with Excommunicate, the new Lapse, and to a lesser extent, Oblivion Ring - I would really love for this to continue). Blue should be some threats and some answers; it shouldn't have all the answers like it always had. Other than that, blue's fine. There's just something to be said about not getting to play Magic. Keep Magic proactive and not reactive.
  • #17
    Counters don't mean much when the control deck is being swarmed with spells. Counters also don't handle cards already in play. Blue has bounce, but that's not exactly good... Also keep in mind that you're assuming a deck is counter heavy.

    As a blue player, I like how blue can be reactive (interactive). There's nothing wrong with that.
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  • #18
    Quote from Jura
    Counters don't mean much when the control deck is being swarmed with spells. Counters also don't handle cards already in play. Blue has bounce, but that's not exactly good... Also keep in mind that you're assuming a deck is counter heavy.

    As a blue player, I like how blue can be reactive (interactive). There's nothing wrong with that.
    Yeah, I suppose so. I myself tend to play control decks; I would just prefer more stuff like Negate in blue with the option of having stuff more like Oblivion Ring. Blue just always seems too good, but I don't want them to print worse blue cards.
  • #19
    I have to say black getting counterspells should be hard life maybe something like this

    B (maybe BB?)
    instant
    Lose half your life rounded up
    Counter target spell.
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  • #20
    Quote from draftguy2
    I have to say black getting counterspells should be hard life maybe something like this

    B (maybe BB?)
    instant
    Lose half your life rounded up
    Counter target spell.


    I think the focus of this wasnt the drawback, but what the counter is able to target in different colours.

    To the OP: I agree with this in some regard, although because counters can only be used when the spell is on the stack, they can be compared to other removal which kills anything that came into play this turn, which, to the best of my knowledge, is not the best mode of removal. The 'counter problem' is only really a problem when coupled with tempo which will limit the number of spells the blue player has to deal with with counters.
  • #21
    I just can't see black getting counterspells. First of all, permission is one of the most detested abilities in magic, up there with land destruction.
    Second, the only reason white is getting a bit is it fits white's traditional "tax" theme, and white has really been in need of a boost for the past 5 years or so.



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  • #22
    Yeah Black is good enough seriously, black has gotten the lion share of pie and while it might have been weakened in T2 a bit.

    The color is still very very strong overall especially if you look at extended.

    The last thing black needs is more pie talk about overkill apparently damnation being printed wasn't enough for black mages.

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  • #23
    no. i love black. black got dash hopes.

    right now WotC as Nicol Bolas said, is making up for the 5 years of wite being not-so-good. i just wish that black had better life-gain.... or zombies w/ lifelink.
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  • #24
    I don't think that black should get counterspells as that would give them an answer to problem enchantments. If you look at the current color pie especially in ext. Black is one of the stronger and possibly the strongest color. It's got card draw in Phyrexian Arena and Dark Confidant. Prime removal with cards like Smother and Damnation. Overall controlling cards like Death Cloud... Adding in good countermagic would be way over the top.
  • #25
    I don't see how countering fits in black, flavor-wise. Even the new white countering will need some getting used to.

    To me, black seems to be about destruction through brute force more than through subtlety. Attacking an opponent's brain directly with discard or stuff he uses with removal is very black, as is leeching and lifeloss in general (limited to creatures and lands, obv, but that could've easily gone differently). And sacrificing ressources to get an advantage.
    I just don't see where exploiting the small window between the existance and nonexistance of a spell would fit in. White is vigilant and disciplined; reactively defensive countermeasures fit, imo - Think of it as having your magical greek fire prepared. Although obviously this is being executed by R&D in a manner different from blue counters (you either counter something that targets you or something of yours, and tax or lapse something rather than hard-counter).
    Black just doesn't seem patient or defensive enough to wait for a threat as a strategy.
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