Gavin Verhey used today’s episode of Good Morning Magic to give the history of Counterspell, including the iconic card being reprinted into Modern with Modern Horizons 2.
Counterspell was printed in the first Magic set, Alpha, and saw continuous reprintings through core sets and even expansions like Ice Age, Tempest, and Mercadian Masques. It was a mainstay in the game until the printing of Eighth Edition, where many things changed. Disenchant was replaced by Naturalize, Llanowar Elves didn’t join Birds of Paradise any longer, and Counterspell wasn’t reprinted. Two mana to stop anything was too efficient and proven too powerful over the years.
Cancel was eventually printed in Time Spiral to replace Counterspell and returned in Magic 2010, setting the new precedent for the effect. Cancel turned out to be a bit too weak, so it is usually passed up for situational two-mana counters like Disdainful Stroke, Negate, or Essence Scatter and the new three-mana counters like Dissolve, Disallow, and Sinister Sabotage.
With Eighth Edition being the starting set for Modern, players have asked for Counterspell to be in the format for years. It has been reprinted in supplemental sets and Masters sets and even in Strixhaven’s Mystical Archive. It was discussed for the first Modern Horizons, but was ultimately left out. The wait for Counterspell was finally over with Modern Horizons 2, giving players what they wanted.
Verhey wrapped the video by saying the return of Counterspell to Standard is still very unlikely, but didn’t completely rule it out.
So what do you think? Should Counterspell come back to Standard sets or is it too strong? Let us know in the comments.