Monthy Mailbag – Magic 2010 Edition

What has become a tradition around here is introducing new columns (including after breaks of time where I’m busy making money working for the man).  I get messages and e-mails from readers wanting advice on creating cards or why Wizards did certain things in their sets.  Well, my mailbag was full of questions about Magic 2010, the new Core set coming out later this month and I wanted to share with you some of those e-mails today.  Let’s just dive right in and see what we pull up.  Note: these deal with the spoiled cards found on a certain site.  I won’t names site, but you should know where it is.

Counterspell
Will this be the only time we see Counterspell in a non-promo new border?

What a minute, they’re bringing back Lightning Bolt and Duress, but not Counterspell? What gives?  Counterspell is way less powerful than either of these two cards. Wizards is giving every other color but Blue cheap, powerful spells like Silence in White.  Why can’t I get my Counterspell back?

Yeah, because Blue hasn’t been powerful at all; it’s always gotten the shaft when it comes to card selection. The reason why there isn’t Couterspell in Magic 2010 (note, you do get Cancel and other counterspells, just not the card Counterspell) is the fact is the card is too powerful. There’s a huge difference between Coutnerspell and Duress.

If I was going to play Cryptic Command and you play Counterspell, I had to spend 4 mana while you had to spend 2.  You have used up half as much mana preventing my spell as I did playing it, which is why so many people like to counter spells.  I you play Duress and discard my Cryptic Command, I didn’t use up any mana and you used up one. You still got the same effect (nullifying the spell and putting it in the graveyard) but both are different means for different colors. (I won’t go into the full math of card values in the hand while in play; this is just the basic logic of it).

Plus, Counterspell can stop any non-land card, Duress can only hit non-land/non-creatures and Lightning Bolt can only hit creatures/players.  This is a huge difference.  At only costing two mana, Counterspell gives you enough leeway early on to stop their spell and play something else if you wanted to, making it really efficient. Cancel, at three mana, is enough to where it’s good, but not too good and is more acceptable as a hard counter. Don’t worry, Blue will still have other toys to play with. Continue reading “Monthy Mailbag – Magic 2010 Edition”