I looked around on the internet for a list of blue counterspells in Magic: the Gathering that can be played for no mana. (Alternative costs or a mana cost later is fine.) Does anyone have a list or know where to find a list?

  • No mana ever, or just no mana right now? That would affect whether things like Pact of Negation appear on the list. – doppelgreener May 19 '15 at 1:25
  • Ones that can be played for no mana right now. – BolasStone May 19 '15 at 1:28
  • Does it have to be a spell? counterbalance is an enchantment that costs zero mana (once it's on the battlefield) to counter spells. There are several other permanents that can be used to counter spells. – John May 20 '15 at 2:47
up vote 7 down vote accepted

There are 5 Blue counterspells that can be cast for alternate costs:

I found these with the following search on Scryfall:

o:"rather than pay ~'s mana cost" o:counter c:u

This searches for spells with alternative costs (first clause) with "counter" in the text (second clause) that are blue (third clause).

In addition, Mental Misstep only costs {UP}, so you can pay life instead of mana.

If you also want to count spells with mana that needs to be paid later, Pact of Negation has a mana cost of {0}, but it also says

At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay {3}{U}{U}. If you don't, you lose the game.

Besides that, there are 3 spells that can be used to effectively counter a spell that can be cast without paying any mana:

  • Commandeer lets you take control of a spell and change its targets. You can choose a target that is (more) beneficial to you, or, if the other spell is a counterspell, you can redirect it to target Commandeer so that it is countered for having an illegal target after Commandeer leaves the stack.
  • Mindbreak Trap lets you exile any number of spells, but you can only cast it for free if your opponent has cast at least 3 spells this turn.
  • Misdirection also lets you choose new targets for a spell. Of course, it is only useful for dealing with targeted spells, and you can use it to deal with counterspells the same way you can use Commandeer.

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