How can Rise of the Dark Realms be beaten/avoided? Is it possible to deflect this card so that you end up consuming it?

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  • 1
    Although I appreciate you accepting my answer, It is often good to wait a while before accepting an answer. This encourages others to contribute answers which may be of higher quality or contain information mine does not.
    – Colin D
    Sep 10, 2013 at 13:37

4 Answers 4


So, first off, it's important to understand why Rise of the Dark Realms isn't a very powerful card in competitive one-on-one Magic: you're paying nine mana for an effect of highly variable power (since you don't always have perfect control of what's in the graveyard, especially an opponent's). It's a very slow spell that lacks most of the characteristics of a good "finisher."

That said, not every game of Magic is the same as one-on-one Constructed. So, what happens if you run into this in Commander, multiplayer, or even a "casual" duel?

  • Graveyards are fragile. Since the graveyard is a great zone for both cheating on costs and card selection, there are a lot of cards printed that specifically counteract graveyard strategies. Look at how cheaply you can get graveyard hate in the form of Rest in Peace or Grafdigger's Cage, for example. It's pretty easy to sneak graveyard hate into most decks, since many effective cards replace themselves (e.g. Relic of Progenitus) or do more than just attack graveyards (e.g. Rakdos Charm, Scavenging Ooze).
  • Nearly every strategy relying on a single powerful spell is weak to countermagic. Your opponents like to play big, powerful spells? Counter them! There are tons and tons of counterspells that can meet your needs, ranging from super-fast counters (Force of Will, Spell Pierce) to big value-generating counters (e.g. Cryptic Command, Draining Whelk) to just plain old Negate.
  • There are lots of spells that just kill ALL of the creatures. Magic has a lot of "sweeper" effects that can clear the whole board with one spell. A simple Wrath of God (or Damnation, or Terminus, or Rout, or Supreme Verdict, ...) will reset the board for a very minor cost.
  • Someone stealing your stuff? Steal it back. Someone cast Rise of the Dark Realms? Let them pass the turn and then cast that Insurrection you've been holding! Or just tap your Homeward Path and laugh.
  • Also, while uncounterable spells exist (eg, Thrun, the Last Troll) and normal spells can be made uncounterable (eg, Boseiju, Who Shelters All), there are still ways to answer a spell without using the keyword action "counter" -- such as exiling the spell with Mindbreak Trap, or bouncing the spell with Venser, Shaper Savant.
    – Brian S
    Nov 15, 2013 at 2:49
  • Although I agree with most of this, the last point has got to be equally bad advice as running Rise of the Dark Realms in the first place - neither of those cards are playable in virtually any format.
    – Allure
    Jun 8, 2019 at 12:05
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    The logic is if the format allowed Rise of the Dark Realms to be cast, Insurrection would be equally viable.
    – Nelson
    Jun 11, 2019 at 8:43

There are lots of cards that can counter this. Here are just a few categories.


This particular spell requires two pretty hefty things:
1. 9 mana (sure, not as difficult for black to gather as any other colour)
2. Several creatures in the graveyard

The best way to win in Magic is, and always has been, with speed. If a game is going on to the point where your opponent can easily gather 7 mana and there are a dozen creatures in the graveyard, then the game has gone on too long. End the game before it gets to that point, and suddenly this is a card in your opponents hand that they can't use. Which changes the card from "a game winner" for your opponent into a liability.

My advice therefore, is to ignore the cards in your opponent's deck and focus on your own. Speed it up, make it more dangerous, end the game before this card can become a game-changer.

  • 4
    The converted mana cost is actually 9 not 7. Speed is often a good strategy, but I disagree with you stating it has always been the best way to win.
    – Colin D
    Sep 10, 2013 at 14:30
  • I agree with Colin. There are control decks that don't care how long the game goes on - you haven't done anything all game. In fact, it's those control decks that kill and counter all your creatures that might run this card: they kill or counter 5 of your creatures, and then cast this. Now they have your 2 drop, 3, drop, 4 drop, 5 drop and 6 drop for 9 mana. Yikes.
    – corsiKa
    Sep 10, 2013 at 15:10
  • What are the most valuable cards? Instant mana, free cards, a free turn; pure 'speed' cards. Speed is good because it's difficult to beat. I'm saying it's the best way to beat this card and others like it: Keep the game short and don't let the card become usable and game-changing.
    – Task
    Sep 10, 2013 at 16:03
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    @Task, The best cards are the best because they are 'efficient' not because they are 'fast'. I agree that beating your opponent before he has a chance to play sounds like solid advise, but isn't that the same advise for all cards with cmc 6+
    – Colin D
    Sep 10, 2013 at 17:19

Gather Specimens and Reins of Power are cards that do that. Spelljack. Fork and Wild Ricochet and other copy effects as well, since your copy would resolve first and the original copy would resolve after the graveyards are empty.

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