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Community Rating: 3.514 / 5  (72 votes)
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Far too many people seem to be missing the fact that this card is NOT in fact blue. It is black. Yes, if this card were blue, it would be terrible. Remove Soul/Essence Scatter are already subpar compared to the best blue countermagic, so a version that also costs 3 life would be utterly unplayable.

HOWEVER, Withering Boon is black. This exempts it from comparison to other traditional counterspells. We have to examine it on its own terms. On BLACK's terms.

Firstly, for an off-color effect, it is appropriately priced at 1Black and 3 life. Black spells typically demand a little extra...incentive...to have added functionality, and that's exactly what we see here. The question is whether that "added functionality" is something anybody wants. In other words, does a black mage ever care about countering a creature spell?

The answer is yes. Black kill spells, while ubiquitous, tend to have some targeting restrictions... (see all)
Posted By: Ragamander (3/13/2012 6:07:09 AM)


Are you people serious? This is a black Essence Scatter that you have to pay 3 life in addition to its mana cost to play, not a black Counterspell. Also, inturrupts and instants are the same thing people. That being said, non-blue counterspells are always useful. This card loses a bit of its usefulness due to blacks nature of being heavy in creature removal, but it can still deal with things like Blightsteel Colossus.
Posted By: Eved (5/15/2011 8:53:38 PM)


@Fanaticmogg - Don't you mean Essence Scatter? This card is not by any means a Counterspell, but sheerly for the fact that its a non-blue counter, I think this card is actually very good!
Posted By: Kitty_the_Kat (9/5/2011 4:04:13 AM)


A hard counter in black is exceedingly hard to come by. If the creature you're dealing with has impressive "enters the battlefield" abilities or your restrictive black removal spells cant hit it, then this might be the card for you.

@Pearled_Unicorn: See above.
@Divine_Exodus: I noticed the same thing!
@Ideatog: Honestly, you're probably right. It's not hard for black to splash blue for countermagic, typically, unless they're bent on trying to maximize the utility of cards like Corrupt, which means that the ability to splash is dependent on the kind of mana base they have. If they have shocklands, the original dual lands, or Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, then it's no problem. Otherwise, it might be.
Posted By: Talcos (4/22/2011 5:57:45 AM)


I was reading the comments here, and prepared a lengthy rant/tirade about some people missing the point of this card.

However, Ragamander rather eloquently did that for me.
I will only add that this spell, a rare black hard counter (I can't think of any others off the top of my head), whilst it cost life, and only stops creatures, stops what many black control decks fear most:
Indestructible (everyone's favourite: Darksteel Colossus)
Shroud/hexproof (personal nemesis: Dungrove Elder)
Protection (sigh...Progenitus).

The first can be hit with Unmake, the others with Damnation effects. But this deals with all three.

Excellent card, for the colour.

And really, it's black. Three life is nothing. Hell, Spinning Darkness could get that back, and it's not exactly fantastic, is it?
Posted By: Sharu (3/23/2012 4:13:18 AM)


I think it deserves more than a 1.5. (The average player rating as of now)
It costs 3 life yes, but a creature worth countering could easily do 3 damage making it worth the 3 life and {1}{B} to avoid.
The creature could also have an ability making it hard to deal with once it gets in play such as shroud.
The creature could be black making it difficult to target with Terror or Doom Blade.
3/5 - What I consider average.
Posted By: TreeTrunkMaster (11/30/2009 1:15:37 PM)


its a black counter....its definantly worth the loss of 3 life
Posted By: aeiben77 (8/10/2010 11:22:51 AM)


Wow, I really like this!

This is an all-around counterspell...

For {1}{B}!

The life doesn't matter, because this is only playable in vintage, legacy, or EDH and those games tend to stretch.
Posted By: land_comment (3/31/2011 5:08:36 PM)


A black counter. No wonder that it sucks your blood.
Posted By: sbridge (10/21/2009 3:52:02 PM)


If you ignore the life loss this is cheap counter spell
Posted By: mtgraptor (6/2/2010 3:58:22 AM)


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