In Wizards of the Coast’s collectible card game Magic: the Gathering, black can do anything it wants so long as it is willing to pay the price. Mirage set the precedent for black counterspells with Withering Boon, a black Remove Soul. Although we’ve seen several multicolor blue-black counters, Dash Hopes has been only mono black counterspell since Mirage, and it wasn’t very efficient.
From Undermine to Countersquall, blue-black counterpsells have shown a history of being powerful spells that show up in tournament deck lists throughout Magic: the Gathering’s history. It is only a matter of time before a powerful mono-black counterspell is printed.
What this Magic: the Gathering player would love to see is a powerful alternate cost counterpell. The question is what will its drawback be? Discarding (or exiling) cards, sacrificing permanents, and skipping your next draw or untap phase are all great likely candidates.
A powerful alternate cost black counter might look something like this:
At Any Cost – XB
Instant – (Rare)
You may pay X life and exile a card from your hand instead of paying At Any Cost’s mana cost.
Counter target spell and put X doom counters on a permanent you control.
At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a doom counter from a permanent you control. If you can’t, you lose the game.
“She was willing to stop him, no matter what the cost.”
At Any Cost is Erai’s Meddling meets Force of Will. At Any Cost costs trades short term advantage for long term disadvantage (losing the game). At Any Cost can be played in any colored deck, although those with access to black mana sources would be rewarded with the ability to hard cast it from their hand.
Will a black Magic: the Gathering card like At Any Cost see print in the future? Most certainly. The only question is when – and at what cost?
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