Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MTG Tips #7 Top 7 Ways to Handle Counterspells

Tips and tricks for Magic the Gathering players.

Counterspells are a necessity to the game of Magic as a whole but players that are still starting out can have a lot of trouble with them. This can lead to players feeling the match is hopeless because their strategy was shut down by three simple words: counter target spell. Let me help you turn the tables and make counterspells seem almost useless in retrospect.

1) Play around them.
-provoke them into countering things you don’t care about
-attempt to play multiple spells in a single turn so they can’t counter everything
-pay attention to how much mana they have open (can they even cast a counterspell?)
-how many cards do they have in their hand?
-keep track of which cards they keep over multiple turns
-save your major threats if you’re concerned they won’t resolve
-increase your card advantage to outweigh any counterspells (click here for further explanation)

2) Play uncounterable cards.
Cards with phrases like, "can't be countered" obviously do the job rather effectively. Cards with Split Second also have this trait innately. Some examples:
Leyline of Lifeforce, Thrun the Last Troll, Vexing Shusher, Spellbreaker Behemoth, Volcanic Fallout, Akroma, Angel of Fury, Banefire, and Boseiju, Who Shelters All (which makes things uncounterable).

3) Recursion!
Creatures like Bloodghast and Vengevine are prime examples of cards that can not only be played repeatably but they can't be countered when they enter play from the graveyard as they aren't being cast as spells. Other creatures with recursion, such as almost every Phoenix in the history of Magic, will make counterspells futile to use (watch out for cards like Dissipate).

4) Punish to your heart's content.
Luminarch Ascension and Eyes of the Wisent drop early and make your opponent regret playing a deck with counterspells.

5) Discard.
Normally you would want to save discard spells for their threats but if you seriously aren’t worried about those and just really need to cast something then use discard to rip out their counters. If they waste a counterspell on your discard then you’re already on the path to winning as it is. Use cards like Duress that not only let you pick and choose what to discard but they allow you to see their hand and figure out if they're holding back any other secrets or extra counterspells.

6) Triggered abilities.
Enters the battlefield triggers DON’T WORK because counterspells never let the card resolve. On the other hand though, cards that only care if the card was played still trigger. The number one example of this is probably Demigod of Revenge. He only cares that he was ever played. Even if Demi is countered, his triggered ability still resolves and all Demis from the graveyard return in full force.

7) Lands!
Lands can't be countered. Plain and simple. Manlands are always effective and they exist in every color such as Treetop Village and Celestial Colonnade. Another option is any land that can win on its own. Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, Moorland Haunt, Stensia Bloodhall, and Nephalia Drownyard are well equipped candidates.

This is Kylak signing out and counting on the fact you'll be uncounterable the next time.


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