Much of the attention is certain to be drawn to
the "if you control a dragon" clause on this
card, and with good reason - two mana universal
counterspells are much rarer than they used to
be, and are not getting any less powerful as
time goes by. I'll just take the opportunity to
point out that a lot of people have
underestimated Force Spike over the years, and
while it's slightly harder to bluff this card
all the time or keep it available, there are
still situations where "unless you pay 1" is
just as good as a hard counterspell.
Today's card of the day is Silumgar's Scorn
which is a two mana Blue instant that counters
target spell unless the controller pays one mana
or counters it if you reveal a dragon card when
casting it. This is a two mana Force Spike
without a dragon to reveal, but with one it is a
an old fashioned Counterspell. This is
playable, but with the condition attached it is
more of a psychological weapon to keep an
opponent from tapping out. This should
slow down their tempo and adds an advantage,
even if not quite as much as other options.
With dragons to reveal this is a top of the line
card and overall it will see play, possibly even
at the competitive levels.
In Limited the double Blue is a bit of a
drawback and having a dragon in the right colors
for your build potentially makes the additional
cost difficult to enable. Even with those
flaws this is a solid source of both control and
a mental advantage by keeping the opponent from
tapping out entirely. A reasonable second
or third pick in Booster after a Blue rare and
well worth including in Sealed when Blue is a
primary or secondary color.
In a dragon deck, this will often be as good as
the original Counterspell. But, even if you are
playing a lot of dragons, it’s no given that you
will have one in your hand at the right time. If
you don’t, this becomes a very narrow card.
I think the risk of finding this when you have
no dragons in hand is too big a risk to play
this very often. Just pay one more mana and get
a full-time hard counterspell.