Hello and welcome to another Magic the Gathering Top 10 list. Today we’ll explore the best MTG counterspells of all time! Take a look at which cards you need, so your opponent’s spells won’t resolve. Ever.
Honorable Mention: Fierce Guardianship
Before we go into the actual Top 10, we’ll talk about a counterspell that has a varying power level – depending on which format you’re playing. As you can imagine, three mana for a Negate is just a poor rate.
However, if you’re playing the Commander format, you get the upside of Guardianship being free, provided you control your commander. That’s usually the time you need your free counterspell the most, as it can help you protect your commander, which is the centerpiece of your deck.
So this is certainly one of the best MTG counterspells for Commander, while being pretty much unplayable in other formats.
A red card is probably a weird place to start this list. Pyroblast is definitively a weird card, though. It usually belongs in the sideboard. But if you know that one player that always plays blue, this red counterspell will work perfectly.
Pyroblast is really strong against a blue deck – you get both a removal spell and a counterspell. For just one mana! Such efficiency certainly deserves a spot in Top 10 Best MTG Counterspell list.
#9 Pact of Negation
Zero mana – counter target spell. It doesn’t get much better than that. Yes, of course there’s a cost, but you don’t need to use Pact of Negation until it’ll counter a key card.
Often your opponent will have a false sense of security when you’re tapped out, so they’ll go for their big play. Unfortunately for them, Pact doesn’t care about the number of lands you have. Until you next upkeep, that is.
There’s also a combo you can do against non-blue players with Hive Mind. Once you have this enchantment in play, just counter any of their spells with Pact. They will have to copy your Pact. Since they don’t have blue mana, they can’t pay the cost in their next upkeep, and they lose the game. Neat.
Even without all those shenanigans, Pact of Negation is still a very strong counterspell and deserves a spot on the best MTG counterspells list.
Two mana to counter any spell and draw a card! Sounds too good to be true. Well, the spell actually isn’t countered, it’s put in the owner’s hand. But Remand is still very good, you just need to counter an expensive spell or one that is important to resolve at a certain time.
For example, if you counter a spell like overloaded Cyclonic Rift for six mana. Even though they get it back, they might not be able to replay it in the same turn. Remand provided a big tempo swing, and you drew a card.
On the other hand, if you counter a card like Rampant Growth on turn two – even when your opponent casts it again next turn it will be worse than before.
#7 Mana Tithe
Surprised to see a white card on the list? Well, your opponents will be to when you counter their spell with your mono white deck.
Honestly, if it wasn’t white, it wouldn’t be on the list. There are plenty of better counterspells in the game. But you can’t play Remand in your white deck. Mana Tithe is as good as it gets for white.
Now, if you haven’t countered anything with it yet, we strongly recommend you to try it. The looks you’ll get from your opponents once you “get them” with Tithe are priceless.
#6 Cryptic Command
Cryptic Command is not the cheapest counterspell. But what it lacks in efficiency, it makes up with versatility. It’s basically a Swiss army knife of counterspells – you get six different spells on one card. Sometimes it won’t even be a counterspell. Just tap your opponent’s creatures and attack for the win. Oh, and draw a card just in case.
Once you have a small advantage, nothing can go wrong if you’re holding Cryptic Command.
There’s something special about counterspells that cost zero. But Daze is as fair as it gets for so cheap counterspell. You have to time it exactly right for it to work, and you have to know when is it worthwhile to return an Island to your hand.
But when you get everything just right, Daze feels like a very overpowered card.
Here it is, the OG Counterspell. First printed in Alpha, the very beginning of Magic and still as strong as it has ever been.
Two blue mana, no nonsense, just counter target spell. You wonder how many broken counterspells are there if this is only the fourth best.
#3 Mental Misstep
Paying two life to counter a spell? This is an absurdly low price. You don’t even need to play blue to put this in your deck. It only works on spells that cost one, but those are usually the most important ones in the early game.
Here are just some powerful cards Mental Misstep counters:
- Path to Exile
- Mental Misstep – yeah, just go into counterspell war!
- Lightning Bolt
- Noble Hierarch
To put the power level of Mental Misstep in perspective – it’s banned in Modern and Legacy and restricted in Vintage, the most powerful Magic format.
#2 Mana Drain
As if regular Counterspell isn’t good enough. It’s already number 4 on this list. Add a big amount of mana for your next turn, and what do you get? One of the best MTG counterspells of all time. Some people say it’s just the best one. It’s a really hard choice for that spot between Mana Drain and…
#1 Force of Will
We have reached the best MTG counterspell of all time – Force of Will. It’s the most iconic, and rightfully so. It’s free, but comes with some card disadvantage. However, in formats where Force is legal, you can easily get cards back – but you don’t get so free counterspells as easily.
At this point, we should also mention Force of Negation. Although it might be better than some other counterspells on the list, we didn’t put it in, since it’s a similar, worse version of Force of Will. However, it’s legal in Modern, and you can use it as an additional free counterspell in Commander.
Now back to the Force of Will. Perhaps one of its greatest achievements is how it made the legendary meme of Storm Crow. This bird is supposedly the most powerful creature in Magic. Alliances – the set where both Force and Storm Crow are from – had so many powerful blue cards, that players joked even the Crow is overpowered.
And how could it not be? You can discard it to Force of Will, the strongest counterspell ever.
Best MTG Counterspells – Your Suggestions
That’s all from about the best MTG counterspells. Do you feel we missed something that should be on the list? Tell us in the comments below! You can find most counterspells with this search on Scryfall.
If you’re looking for further reading, you can check Top 10 Best Cheap Magic cards – the most powerful cards for under a dollar. Make sure that you won’t miss another Top 10 list and follow us on Facebook or Instagram.
Until next time, may you counter your opponent’s best card.