Summary Dismissal and Uncounterable Spells

There’s not a lot of uncounterable spells kicking around in Standard right now, but there ARE a few (like Rending Volley and a Spell Mastery-enabled Exquisite Firecraft), and they’re alongside some weird “counterspells”: Summary Dismissal and Unsubstantiate. Unsubstantiate is a sort of ‘new’ version of an old favorite, Remand, or a creature-free version of Venser, Shaper Savant. Rather than outright countering a spell, it just returns the targeted spell to the owner’s hand! Likewise, Summary Dismissal doesn’t directly counter spells, it exiles them. The vast majority of the time, these function ‘similar’ enough to counters; you pay a few mana to stop someone’s spell. Summary Dismissal also has the tech of exiling (making it harder to get them back, or feeding Processors!), being able to hit multiple spells if there’s more than one on the stack, and stopping triggered or activated abilities. But Dismissal and Unsubstantiate can also answer those uncounterable spells! The reason is stated just a few sentences back: you’re not actually COUNTERING them, you’re just shoving them off of the stack, and their “Can’t be countered by spells or abilities” text can’t stop that! So feel free to use an Unsubstantiate to keep your Spell Queller (who can also eat uncounterable spells!) safe from Rending Volleys for at least another turn.

Today’s Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez

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