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. May 19, 2015 at 1:25
  • Ones that can be played for no mana right now.
    – BolasStone
    May 19, 2015 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, 2015 at 2:47

1 Answer 1


There are 8 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" or o:"you may cast this spell without paying its 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.
  • Fierce Guardianship can be added to the list if you're playing Commander. Sep 15, 2022 at 22:48
  • I added that. I missed it because it uses a different alternate cost wording.
    – murgatroid99
    Sep 15, 2022 at 22:51
  • Yeah, wasn't sure where you wanted to add it because your description below the list is now slightly incorrect. Also maybe Pact of Negation as mentioned in comments? (Oh, you updated that as well!) Sep 15, 2022 at 22:52
  • Depending on how you read it, the description is still right. The whole parenthesized expression searches for spells with alternative costs, it just now includes two different wordings for them. Pact of Negation was there the whole time. The only change I made today was to expand the list at the beginning.
    – murgatroid99
    Sep 15, 2022 at 22:56

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