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Top 10 Non-Blue Counterspells in Magic: The Gathering

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

These spells will definitely help you win!

These spells will definitely help you win!

Blue Counterspells in Magic: The Gathering

Perhaps the blue faction's most defining trait in Magic is its affinity for counterspells, instant-speed rebuttals that negate a card and send it to the graveyard, essentially rendering it useless. The threat of counterspells makes anyone nervous when they see a blue user with untapped lands, sometimes causing them to purposefully cast weaker spells in hope of avoiding retribution.

But, while the blue team dominates this mechanic, it doesn't entirely own it, as each faction occasionally dips into its own negation reservoir. In fact, counterspells from other colors are perhaps even more dangerous, as they're unpredictable and likely to catch opponents by surprise. But, with dozens of members available, which cards reign supreme? These are the ten best non-blue counterspells in Magic: The Gathering!

Best Non-Blue Counterspells in Magic: The Gathering

10. Guttural Response
9. Burnout
8. Frontline Medic
7. Artifact Blast
6. Dash Hopes
5. Null Brooch
4. Pyroblast/Red Elemental Blast
3. Avoid Fate
2. Rebuff the Wicked
1. Mana Tithe

Guttural Response

Guttural Response

10. Guttural Response

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 1

Gutteral Response makes a great counter to blue's counters, as it can negate any blue instant, and it only needs one mana of from a red or green source. Use this in commander matches, where blue strategies run rampant, to thwart its counters and successfully resolve your effects.

Response also hinders other blue instants, obstructing the bounce removals that blue is known for.

Burnout card

Burnout card

9. Burnout

CMC: 2

Similar to Response, Burnout negates any blue instant spell; however, it needs two mana and no longer accepts green. To compensate, you get to draw a card at the start of the next turn's upkeep, adding insult to injury by replenishing your hand as you foil your opponent's tactics.

Frontline Medic

Frontline Medic

8. Frontline Medic

CMC: 3

Medic is a rare creature with a potential counter ability. Considering his numerous effects, his stats are surprisingly high at 3/3 (three power and three toughness), and he only needs one white mana, blending easily into multicolor decks.

Medic's battalion ability renders your entire army indestructible for the turn when he and at least two other troops attack, and you can sacrifice him at any time to counter a spell with a variable X cost. Use this in multiplayer games where your chances of facing such cards increase, and note you can trigger it as soon as Medic arrives (since there's no tapping involved, summoning sickness doesn't apply).

Artifact Blast

Artifact Blast

7. Artifact Blast

CMC: 1

Artifact Blast simply needs one mountain's mana and negates any artifact spell. Since most artifacts are colorless, you'll encounter them in just about every deck, and being able to stop your opponent's early relics (like "Sol Ring" and "Mana Vault") can save your entire match.

Remember, unlike creatures, artifacts can tap as soon as they arrive, so it's best to eliminate them quickly and deny any chance at accessing their effects.

Dash Hopes

Dash Hopes

6. Dash Hopes

CMC: 2

For just two mana, Dash Hopes counters any spell regardless of color or type, making it a worthy addition to the black camp. However, any player can pay five life to counter Dash Hopes, so your opponent can still resolve the effect if they're willing to suffer the consequences. That said, you win no matter their choice, either negating a spell or scoring five damage, both at low cost and instant speed.

Null Brooch

Null Brooch

5. Null Brooch

CMC: 4

Null Brooch can be tricky, but excels in its element. As a colorless artifact, you can cast it with any mana type, although it needs four total. Then, you can tap it, spend two more mana, and discard your entire hand to counter any non-creature spell.

That may sound like a big price, but if your hand is already low or empty, you're really just spending two mana for a versatile and reusable counter that works on anything except monsters. Use Brooch in red or black decks that quickly burn through their spells and won't mind losing their hand.

4. Pyroblast/Red Elemental Blast

CMC: 1

Essentially identical, these spells each only need one red mana and either counter a blue spell or destroy a blue permanent. It's as simple as that; use these to inexpensively thwart blue cards before they arrive or annihilate them if already fielded.

Avoid Fate

Avoid Fate

3. Avoid Fate

CMC: 1

Avoid Fate only needs one green mana and voids any instant or aura that targets a permanent you control. While this can't stop every card, it works against two types commonly used to remove creatures, and it's an unpredictable move from the green camp, who doesn't especially emphasize instants.

Rebuff the Wicked

Rebuff the Wicked

2. Rebuff the Wicked

CMC: 1

Similar to Fate, Rebuff the Wicker only needs one white mana and interrupts any spell that targets one or more permanents you control. Discounting rare field-wipes, most one-off instants and sorceries tend to target, as will the occasional creature or enchantment, giving plenty of valid targets for Rebuff to shield against.

Mana Tithe

Mana Tithe

1. Mana Tithe

CMC: 1

Finally, a one-cost counter that functions regardless of type or color, Mana Tithe will negate any spell—unless its caster spends one more mana, in which case it successfully resolves. Still, just wait until your opponent uses all their resources on a big play before casting Tithe, ensuring they have nothing left to pay the additional fee.

Even if they somehow gain more mana, at worst you're still draining a potential resource they could have used elsewhere. A mainstay for my own white EDH decks, Tithe is actually cheaper than previous entries, costing less than two dollars!

Defending Against Counterspells in Magic

As evidenced by their impressive community ratings, non-blue counterspells remain a powerful tool that often catch opponents off-guard. But whether blue or not, you can defend against negations with Magic's best anti-counterspell cards, like "Grand Abolisher" and "Vexing Shusher".

In case you face units like these, it's important to have non-counter removals to eliminate these threats and enable use of your negations once more. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of canceling spells, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill