A counterspell that only targets big stuff. Hard
counters are always nice and counterspells that
only cost two are easy to play, but you're
risking the times when a CMC<4 spell will wreck
your day and you'll sit there, Stroke in hand,
unable to stop it. That didn't stop anyone from
playing Negate, but I suspect that "CMC 4 or
greater" is a smaller subset than "noncreature"
is. At the very least, most creatures give the
enemy a turn to respond before they start
swinging and must therefore be dealt with.
Noncreature spells usually have to be shut down
right then and there, or not at all. Hence,
Negate is a useful tool. Will Disdainful Stroke
see the same utility? We'll find out!
Let's get one thing out of the way: yes, Wizards
of the Coast wants you to buy their new sets.
This is not news. Of course, sometimes the way
they choose to encourage that becomes news, like
when we noted that End Hostilities absolutely
hoses bestow. Disdainful Stroke is a similar
sort of card, though it's a little more subtle.
It also has "innocent" applications, as many
planeswalkers start at four mana and it easily
answers lethal X spells. But its real power may
be in aggressive decks, which it effectively
protects against many of the spells that take
them out of a game (including the aforementioned
End Hostilities, though I don't consider
demanding that you always go to blue to be a
very reasonable way to deal with a clearly
planted hoser card).
Welcome back readers today’s conditional
counter spell is Disdainful Stroke a spell that
counters spells with a converted mana cost 4 or
greater, in standard this card is powerful but
conditional. A lot of powerful spells are higher
than four mana and even at four mana the number
of powerful cards in the format is quite high,
this is a card destined to see sideboard play
for as long as it is legal. In other competitive
formats I don’t know if this card does enough to
justify precedence over the plethora of other
counter spells making it a rather unexciting
choice. In casual and multiplayer it’s kind of
relegated to the back burner of counter spells
except in instances where you have to play
standard otherwise this spell is simply
outclassed by tons of spells printed before it.
In limited it’s a pretty powerful counterspell
that can handle all sorts of bomb cards and is
versatile in the type of spells it counters.
Overall a powerful standard and limited card
that just does not do enough elsewhere.
Today's card of the day is Disdainful Stroke
which is a two mana Blue instant that counters a
target spell with converted mana cost of four or
greater. This is very situational,
particularly in any competitive format where
higher mana cost spells are less likely to be
used. There is no shortage of other
counter options for Blue at the same mana cost
that can be used more flexibly, so this is
sidedeck material at best.
In Limited this may see more usage as the format
is slower, so including it in your deck when
already running Blue in Sealed is often
worthwhile. It is situational, yet when
used can one for one against a serious threat.
In Booster this is a solid pick after bombs or
other more direct removal as most of the big
threats can be countered with it.
Conditional counterspells are almost always
relegated to the sideboard. That doesn't mean
they are bad cards, but only that they are very
situational. Against some decks, this will be
completely dead, as they have primarily or
exclusively casting costs under 4. But against
decks that have higher casting costs, stopping a
huge threat for one blue and one colorless is a
Some older players still bemoan the fact that
you used to be able to get a hard counterspell
for anything for two mana. I think it's long
time to recognize that the way it is now is more
fair. For two mana, you get a conditional
counterspell. For a hard counter, it costs you
three or more.
Overall, though, I think there are more valuable
counterspells out there, and this one is
probably better off sitting out.
For a cheap 2 mana, you can
counter any card 4 CMC or higher. You can
counter creatures even. Also note that it
only requires 1 Blue mana and a colorless so its
splashable. Every time you use this card,
your opponent will suffer a bigger loss than you
would by using this card. At the same
time, lots of cards with 3 CMC can creep right
through and you'd have no answer to it. So
in many respects, there's also a reason why you
would use the very similar card "Negate".
While "Negate" doesn't affect creatures, it
shuts down almost all non-creatures. Fair
trade off, so it's a matter of your preference
and/or the meta.
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