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I have a card called Calciform Pools. It uses something called a storage counter. What is it and how do you use it?

Card Text:

Tap: Add {1} to your mana pool.

{1}, Tap: Put a storage counter on Calciform Pools.

{1}, Remove X storage counters from Calciform Pools: Add X mana in any combination of {w} and/or {B} to your mana pool.

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The card's rules text tells you what to do with the storage counters. What's unclear? –  ghoppe Mar 6 '13 at 19:40
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I know this is a horrible use of this site, but I thought part of the question was what are they? I interpret that as are they a physical thing that is placed on the card or do you just have to remember what the count is? If its a physical thing, what do you use? If the OP didn't imply this, then never mind. –  Gregg Mar 6 '13 at 20:55

3 Answers 3

Most counters in MTG don't do anything by themselves. Their function is defined by the text of various cards which use them or place them. The names of the counters are a bit like creature types — they don't have any stand-alone rules significance but cards interact with them.

The exceptions are:

  • "+X/+Y" counters (normally +1/+1 and -1/-1, but some really old cards have other kinds), which modify a creature's power and toughness.
  • Poison counters: a player who has ten or more poison counters loses the game.

In the case of Calciform Pools, the "storage counters" are there to be used for its second and third ability.

{1}, Tap: Put a storage counter on Calciform Pools.

This lets you slowly "charge up" the land. If you have untapped mana on your opponents end step, you can spend some of it to put a storage counter on the Pools.

{1}, Remove X storage counters from Calciform Pools: Add X mana in any combination of {w} and/or {B} to your mana pool.

This lets you "release" all of the mana you've stored up. The extra cost of 1 colorless is there to encourage you to take out a bunch of mana all at once. Note that you don't have to tap pools to activate this ability, so you can use Pools' first mana ability to pay the 1 colorless if you want to. You can also activate this ability multiple times per turn if you have 1 mana floating around to pay for it.

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Well it's exactly like it said, you can use the pool to store mana for future purpose. Can be usefull if you are planning to play a card that needs a lot of {W} or {B} mana.

I think the labelling of storage counter instead of charge counter is to prevent the use of the Pool in a combo with the Energy Chamber card that could have enable putting additonnal counter on the pool for free.

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Nope, storage counters were used on lands in Fallen Empires in 1994. Energy Counters are only used on Energy Vortex, a card in Mirage. You may be thinking of Charge Counters, like on Mirrodin's Core, but that wasn't released until 2004. Obviously there was no consideration of interaction with counters which wouldn't be used for another 10 years. –  ghoppe Mar 6 '13 at 19:43
    
Wrong choice of word I was refering to the Energy Chamber card –  LittleViking26 Mar 6 '13 at 19:48
    
Right, I got that. But Storage Counters on lands were used 9 years before Mirrodin was released and Charge Counters first used, so there is no relation. –  ghoppe Mar 6 '13 at 19:50
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I think in the early days of magic counters were called pretty much anything the card designer's feverish imagination could come up. It was only later on that they tried to rationalise things and have consistent naming conventions for types of counters. –  thesunneversets Mar 6 '13 at 20:16
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@thesunneversets I think you're only partly right, there has been some standardization of +X/+Y counters to +1/+1 and -1/-1 and when counters are a theme in a set they have a consistent name, eg. Charge counters on artifacts in Mirrodin. But "one-off" imaginative counters still show up regularly. See Assemble the Legion‌​, Azor's Elocutors, Grimoire of the Dead etc. –  ghoppe Mar 8 '13 at 16:28

I think you are asking what the counters are?

They are just something you use to keep track of how many counters you have on the card. You can use button, glass beads, or a 20 sided die that you increments when you add and decrement when you remove counters.

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