Ionize vs “Can’t Be Countered”

Hello and welcome back to the one, the only, Rules Tips Blog! It’s been a hot-and-spicy minute since we’ve had any Rules Tips for you folks, but we’re back on track and hitting the ground running with Izzet Week- all your Rules Tips this week will involve cards from the bombastic and eccentric chemisters from the Izzet League (specifically, new cards from Guilds of Ravnica). To start with, we’ll be talking about Ionize. Pretty straightforward- for 1UR, you get yourself a versatile hard counter and 2 damage to your opponent’s dome. But what happens if your opponent casts a spell like Carnage Tyrant, which “can’t be countered”? Well, “Can’t be countered” works a lot like Indestructible in this case. It doesn’t make Tyrant an illegal target for counterspells- just usually a bad one- same as throwing a Murder at a creature like Impervious Greatwurm. The  “counter target spell” (or “destroy target creature”) instruction is impossible to carry out, so the game just shrugs and moves on. With the Murder situation, that means Murder’s done resolving having done a fat lot of nothing- but with Ionize, there’s still the 2 damage to the opponent. That part doesn’t require the spell to actually end up countered, only that you had a spell to target! So if you’re in a pinch, feel free to try to Ionize the Carnage Tyrant for some free damage- just be prepared to take 7 unionized damage from it pretty soon!


Today’s Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez

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