Force of Negation – Double Masters
Date Reviewed: August 1, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If you thought regular Negate matched up too well against Revel in Riches, you’ll absolutely hate the version that doesn’t even require mana to cast. Jokes aside, Force of Negation is almost as good as its famous ancestor, and exiling its target can be surprisingly relevant in formats with the flashback mechanic, Snapcaster Mage, and similar cards. Its targeting restrictions matter more in certain matchups than others. You can leave Force of Will in your deck for game 2 against many aggro decks, but Force of Negation won’t always have targets that make it worth it (with an exception for strategies that lean heavily on cards like Green Sun’s Zenith).
It’s overkill for many casual settings, and if you’re designing a cube format or something similar, you’ll need to think very carefully about how much vulnerability you want blue decks to have when they’re tapped out. But it’s a great addition to Modern, and gives a lot of decks a little boost against some really hair-raising opponents.
Commander [EDH]: 3/5
The Force cycle from Modern Horizons was all intended to emulate the original Alliance cycle of pitch spells, and it turns out that the blue one, once again, was the best of the bunch. Force of Negation is basically a pitch version of Negate, with a small bit of upside in exiling whatever it counters. Free counterspells have always been extremely powerful, trading card advantage in a way that’s subtly effective in allowing you to stop plays without the apparent mana. Force of Negation certainly hasn’t usurped Force of Will in Legacy, thanks to the universality of its forebear and that Force of Negation is usually pretty bad at protecting your own attempts to combo off, since you can only cast it for free on other players’ turns…but that doesn’t take away that this is still a spectacular answer, able to effectively stymie threats in nearly every deck and buy you more time to effectively do Nothing. It’s not flashy, but it need not be, and it’s actually still passable enough if you’re forced to hard-cast it (as a narrower Dissipate, which oft has been a Standard staple whenever it’s been in the format).
Limited: 3 (being free usually matters a lot less, as does the creature-heavy nature of decks, but there’s still a fair bit this can accomplish)
Commander [EDH]: 4
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