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I've built a deck that's working well against most things, except planeswalkers - I cannot counter them, discard them, or attack them off the board, so they always resolve and bury me in advantage.

What cards can stop a planeswalker from being an effective play in the first place? I'm aware of many cards that can remove planeswalkers after they've entered the battlefield, but that's usually a losing proposition, because they will activate a loyalty ability once they resolve. There's also the option "win the game first by advancing your own gameplan", but I'm looking for alternatives that can at least buy me some time, since my gameplan is not very fast.

Here're the cards I'm aware of:

  • Pithing Needle (and Sorcerous Spyglass, etc.). This is effectively removal that also hits all future planeswalkers of the same name. However, I need to name the planeswalker before they cast it, which is not reliable.
  • The Immortal Sun. This would actually be great for my purposes if it weren't for how some planeswalkers have passive abilities (e.g. Narset, Parter of Veils; Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner).
  • Spark Rupture. This has the minor drawback of being an enchantment (the reasons enchantments are not ideal are tangential to the question). However, this drawback is something I can work around, so it's still the best card I know for my purposes. Is there anything even better?

Format: Historic. No color restrictions (I have access to all colors).

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  • The basic value proposition of planeswalkers is that if you resolve one, you get to at least activate one loyalty ability, similar to creatures with ETB triggers. That makes up for their vulnerability to being attacked, unlike other permanent types. But most planeswalkers don't get worthwhile value for their cost from one activation, so I think you're really undervaluing reactive answers.
    – murgatroid99
    Sep 22, 2023 at 3:11
  • @murgatroid99 most competitively-playable planeswalkers get a full card of advantage when they resolve, which makes removing them afterwards a losing proposition, unless you are attacking them (since that does not cost a card). It's certainly better than nothing, but not by a lot.
    – Allure
    Sep 22, 2023 at 3:26
  • Getting a full card of advantage doesn't automatically make it worth the cost. If you tap out to play a spell that nets you one card of advantage, that's not actually that good.
    – murgatroid99
    Sep 22, 2023 at 3:29
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    I think you are fundamentally asking for too much. You want to stop the the spell from resolving, but you also don't want to use countermagic.
    – murgatroid99
    Sep 22, 2023 at 3:55
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    Got an idea from Minsc & Boo, Timeless Hero, which has an enter-the-battlefield trigger, giving you a chance to fire off an instant-speed kill spell before your opponent can play a (sorcery-speed) planeswalker ability. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a way to force a similar trigger for other planeswalkers: there are no permanents I could find that trigger off an opponent's planeswalker (or an arbitrary permanent) coming into play, except for silver-bordered "Artful Looter" (which triggers on matching artist names) or "River Kelpie" (which triggers if the permanent entered from the graveyard).
    – BradC
    Oct 5, 2023 at 18:44

2 Answers 2

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Other than Spark Rupture, the only kind of interaction that consistently prevents planeswalkers from activating a loyalty ability even once and stops planeswalkers' static abilities is countermagic. Depending on what other kinds of cards you expect to need to counter, cards like Disdainful Stroke, Dovin's Veto, Negate, and Tale's End seem like decent cheap options.

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Eidolon of Obstruction is a way to prevent planeswalkers from using their abilities on curve unless the opponent plays around it.

Alternatively, a powerful and cheap spell for dealing with multiple planeswalkers at once is The Elderspell although that is sorcery speed so they are likely to get one activation before you cast it.

There are not many ways to deal with the green devotion supremacy in historic currently.

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  • There are not many ways to deal with the green devotion supremacy in historic currently. Lol! After struggling to beat green devotion, I crafted the deck and played it in a BO3 league, and immediately went 5-0 in spite of multiple play errors. The deck really is good.
    – Allure
    Oct 6, 2023 at 3:29

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