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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Disdainful Stroke
Image from Wizards.com

 Disdainful Stroke
- Khans of Tarkir

Reviewed Oct. 23, 2014

Constructed: 2.80
Casual: 2.40
Limited: 2.90
Multiplayer: 2.20

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Deck Garage

Disdainful Stroke

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!  

Constructed- 3
Casual- 2
Limited- 3
Multiplayer- 2

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Disdainful Stroke
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).
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5


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.
Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 2.0
Limited: 2.5
Multiplayer: 1.0

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

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.
Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 3.0
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 2.5


Deck Garage
Disdainful Stroke
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 big help.
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.
Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 2.0
Limited: 2.0
Multiplayer: 2.5


Disdainful Stroke

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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