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I believe Cancel is constantly reprinted to separate the original Counterspell into two segments: condition counters (the 1U and U spells) and hard counters, which cost 1UU or more. Counterspell is definitely a good, low-cost hard counter that probably sees more use in Legacy and Vintage.
Posted By: ClowWizardEriol (9/29/2009 8:49:59 PM)


Hey Alphanumerical that's a good list. There ought to be an official classification system among countermages that ranks counters according to range, speed, hardness, etc. EX:

Speed: How soon the counter can be mustered from the start of the game. Not synonymous with mana cost, as both the legendary Force of Will and the control-or-counter Commandeer prove.

Range: The range of what can be targeted with the counter. Spells (counterspell), activated abilities, triggered abilities (stifle), or some combination of the three (voidslime) being qualitative range. The number of stacked magics it allows you to counter at once or over time (double negative, mindbreak trap, forbid) being quantitative range.

Hardness: The conditionality of the counter. "unless" clauses (mana leak) make the counter so... (see all)
Posted By: Fictionarious (2/8/2010 8:10:02 PM)


Kinda hard to rate the basic counter-spell! I don't use Cancel though it only cos I prefer a more interesting card such as Dream Fracture. In terms of power I prefer the cheaper narrower counters i.e. Essence Scatter and Negate.
Posted By: Asinine-Ultimatum (9/29/2009 3:27:10 AM)


Its a staple card for control decks. They keep printing it in each block because blue needs access to it in block constructed or block limited. Sure its not the cheapest counter, but it counters any spell without limitations or pre-requisites and only needs 1 colour to cast.
Posted By: CrimsonFury82 (9/28/2009 10:36:02 AM)


I am going to stand in front of the oncoming hater traffic and just say that cancel is a perfectly playable counter spell. I am sure a good deal of people here are dedicated blue mages who are sad that they do not have the final say in every format any more, but you all need to stop looking to be handed simple solutions.

I am sure if everyone was used to using a spell that was "U, counter target spell," that a switch to counterspell proper would cause cries of nerfing blue. The simple truth is, many blue players have become accustomed to imbalanced countering power.

To those who complain about terminate and others existing in this format and needing a 2 cmc answer, just think of how much more powerful a counter is than a kill spell. Terminate takes care of a great deal of creatures, but it stops there. The counter stops nearly all of the same creatures from being cast (even more in fact, the number of uncounterable creat... (see all)
Posted By: Grimn777 (2/21/2010 2:14:35 PM)


Even in casual, 1 mana is a big deal. Most people increase their mana capacity by 1 at most per turn. And after 4 turns or so, it's not even every turn.

A given game of magic is not necessarily a huge nebula of hundreds of turns. More like 10-20 turns on average (a duel that is). Also, even in casual, the more important events in the game usually take place within the first 6-8 turns. Basically, if you think of this during a game involving Cancel, you may notice that if Cancels were Counterspells, the game could've been very different.

Standard makes the world go 'round- whether we want to admit it or not. Counterspells are too powerful in a standard environment. Wizards don't allow cards in Standard that would turn games into "which player draws more copies of this card". And so everyone would have four copies of Counterspell, and hope to draw as many as possible. Just like with Mirrodin and the Disciple of the Vault.
Stop reading here.

As far as casual...... and level of ... (see all)
Posted By: Enchantment_Removal (6/11/2010 9:54:27 AM)


I don't really understand how this card gets as much bile as it does...it may not be the best card in blue, but it is a late game card... im not running it MB currently, but im really thinking about putting it back in; you leave open mana late in the game and this comes out as the most versatile counter out there. 1 more than Essence Scatter or Negate and applies to EITHER situation. You could run either of those to stand up early in the game and after that, you can be loaded and ready with Cancel to pay 3 and kill whatever 6-drop they think they'll win with.
Posted By: DeathByENG306 (10/25/2009 12:36:46 PM)


@gosuns: Because Counterspell alows you to play more cards during your turn because it costs less mana
Posted By: boneclub (1/10/2010 5:03:58 PM)


Honestly, another reprint of this card? Ever since it's come out, it's been available in overlapping sets, and this is getting to be a little old. Are the developers so out of ideas for new and inventive counterspells that they must resort to printing the same thing over and over again? I mean, I can think of like 3 versions off the top of my head that could be seen as common, and they deviate only slightly from the original concept. It could have a clause like the requirement to destroy one of your own lands, or you discard and your opponent draws, or even something like sacrificing a creature you control. I could easily see something like these being done at common, and they hold much more uniqueness than the blah old Cancel that is being printed incessantly.
Posted By: Oleander (9/27/2009 3:14:25 PM)


Enough of this garbage already. Reprint Mana Leak, on the double!
Posted By: True_Mumin (10/5/2009 5:32:49 AM)