Last updated on January 19, 2023
Allosaurus Shepherd | Illustration by Douglas Shuler
I don’t know if there’s a worse feeling in Magic than trying to play a spell when your opponent has untapped blue mana. You know that they’re going to have some sort of response to whatever you play. But not today!
Some spells allow you to pay for them or for others without needing to worry about counterspells. They’re either uncounterable or can give that ability to others. They won’t necessarily be the core theme of a build, but they complement to ensure that you realize your strategy. Uncounterable spells can help with strategies like burn, control, and massive creatures.
Ready to find a new path to peace of mind? Let’s get into it!
Dragonlord’s Prerogative | Illustration by Seb McKinnon
Uncounterable spells are cards that specifically say “can’t be countered.” These cards either have those words printed on them or can give that static ability to other cards.
There are a lot of other ways to protect your spells, like hexproof and split second. Those keywords are related but different to uncounterable spells, so I’m specifically looking to rank cards with that rules text verbatim for today’s rankings.
Best Blue Uncounterable Cards
You know exactly what you’re getting when you roster this card. It’s a 4-mana counterspell that can’t be countered. Sometimes simplicity is necessary.
Four mana to have the assurance that your counterspell won’t be countered isn’t so bad. Overwhelming Denial‘s value is playing it for its surge cost.
The surge cost requirement can also be satisfied by a teammate, so this card has even more value in team play. Overwhelming Denial can fit well into some cheap draw or bounce decks.
#7. Dragonlord’s Prerogative
Dragonlord’s Prerogative is a draw spell for a specific build: you need blue in your mana pool and dragons in your deck. Drawing four cards at instant speed has major value in the late game, so Dragonlord’s Prerogative is worth consideration for Izzet (), Jund (), and Temur () dragon lovers.
Seven mana is expensive, but it may be worth it to protect your endgame instants and sorceries if you have ways to get mana quickly (Mana Drain, possibly).
Malevolent Hermit is a nice addition to a lot of counter or control decks. You get a creature that can counter a noncreature spell or act as chump blocker. With Benevolent Geist you then get another creature that protects your noncreature spells.
Make sure to keep some cards in your hand and Nezahal is protected from counters and removal spells.
Thryx can quickly ramp you up to your endgame strategies and is legal in most non-Standard formats.
Lier, Disciple of the Drowned is a current Standard darling. It’s so powerful to be able to play your instants and sorceries a second time. This ability really extracts value from cards like Fading Hope or Thirst for Discovery.
No player can use counterspells with Lier on the board, including you. Load up your removal, bounce, and draw cards. You may want to skip the counterspells though.
Flash and the “can’t be countered” ability often let it enter the battlefield unharmed. You can then start terrorizing your opponents with cheap instants and big swings. Hullbreaker Horror is fantastic in all formats (except Historic and Alchemy) and pairs especially well with Lier, Disciple of the Drowned in Standard.
Best Red Uncounterable Cards
A lot of uncounterable cards are nice sideboard additions, and Tears of Valakut is another great example. You can do five damage to a creature with flying for two mana.
This could be invaluable or useless depending on your opponent’s deck. It’s better to leave Tears of Valakut in your sideboard and focus on cards that can always be used.
If you can regularly get to twelve mana, why not give Urza’s Rage a shot? This is only valuable to players who can ramp up their mana output with a kicker of nine mana.
Magic Missile is a nice sideboard card for a lot of different styles of decks. Its versatility with how you can direct damage is handy in certain games. It’s just an added benefit that it can’t be countered.
Exquisite Firecraft is a decent addition to noncreature decks that worry about counterspells. It’s relatively cheap, and the requirement of having two or more instants or sorceries in your graveyard is easy to satisfy.
There may be better burn spells, but you could also do a lot worse. Exquisite Firecraft has the most value in Commander.
Volcanic Fallout has its benefits and its downsides. The value of this card is that it’s at instant speed and can’t be countered.
Where this card lacks is that it only does two damage and also damages your creatures. I like the idea of an instant board wipe for small creatures, so it has value in certain builds.
Demonfire has lots of potential as a great burn spell for doing X damage to any target. It gets the added protection that it can’t be countered if you have no cards in your hand.
There are a lot of good burn spells that can’t be countered, and Demonfire ranks in the middle because it has that requirement. And it isn’t legal in as many formats as some of the other great burn spells.
Torch Breath has some value because of its availability in all formats except Pauper and because of the versatility of the X-mana payment. This card may be great to try out in Standard seeing as blue counterspell decks are very popular.
Here’s a solid endgame spell for burn and aggro red decks. Inescapable Blaze is a great stash in Limited play and may have some value in efficient burn decks. It’s also legal in a lot of formats to help get it into a few more decks.
Rending Volley, Fry, and Combust are burn spells that target white or blue creatures and are great sideboard additions. They all have value in your sideboards, but I’d rank them Rending Volley, Fry, and then Combust.
A lot of red decks don’t focus on getting a ton of mana and playing expensive overpowered creatures. Akroma, Angel of Fury could still be a solid play against blue and white control decks.
This card will all but sure up victory for you if you have an advantage with enchantments or planeswalkers. The eight mana is a concern for playability, but at least it can’t be countered. Obliterate is legal in Modern and eternal formats.
The wording “any target” is a must to develop a good and competitive burn deck. Banefire can target any target, and you can choose as much damage as you can afford.
This card has massive value in all the non-Standard formats because it can do a lot of burn damage to a player and can’t be countered.
Inferno of the Star Mounts is a great endgame play for dragon tribal decks. Your investment of six mana is protected from counters, and it can swing immediately if it isn’t removed.
Red is a great color for ramping up mana, but it may be all for naught if your major investments are countered. This is especially true for expensive planeswalkers. Luckily Chandra, Awakened Inferno can’t be countered.
Feel free to ramp up that red mana and take advantage of the great loyalty abilities of this Chandra planeswalker. Awakened Inferno is fantastic for anyone considering using or splashing red planeswalkers.
Best Green Uncounterable Cards
The Leylines are nice additions because they can be played instantly from a starting hand. Leyline of Lifeforce protects all your creatures from being countered. I might roster a single copy of this card because it loses its value quickly outside of having it in your starting hand.
Leylines are fun, but you should beware of relying on them too much or rostering too many.
Slivers are very powerful as a tribe, and Root Sliver is a value in the tribe, just maybe not the highest value.
Gaea’s Herald is a simple 1/1 creature for two mana that can protect all your other creatures from being countered. You know exactly what you’re getting from this card and how it can fit into your strategy.
Hopefully you can play it early and protect the hordes of nasty creatures you have.
Mistcutter Hydra is a solid play for a lot of styles of green decks. You can invest as much mana as you can afford and swing right away.
It has more value because it can’t be countered, as with many of the green cards on this list. There may be better creatures on this list, but hydras all have value in some sort of deck design.
Destiny Spinner is a solid card from Theros: Beyond Death that can protect your enchantments and creatures from being countered. This is a solid card because its cheap price allows you to protect your cards early, or at least pressure your opponent to use a removal spell early.
This is legal in most non-Standard formats and is worth consideration.
Petrified Wood-Kin can’t be countered, but it also has protection from instants. This is a late-game creature that can put the nail in the coffin for your opponent.
If this is played at the right time in the end game you’ll have a massive creature that also has great protection.
A lot of these green cards cost a lot, but they become slightly more valuable when you know a simple Essence Capture can’t ruin your day.
Gaea’s Revenge is a massive creature with haste and protection from non-green spells or abilities. It’s a nice answer after a board wipe from a control-style deck.
Savage Summoning is a playable instant for a lot of green-themed decks. It protects your next creature from being countered and gives it flash.
You can use this card as simple protection for your best creatures, or as a trap to change the board advantage.
Howlpack Piper is legal in almost all formats, and I’m here for it. Assuming it isn’t removed right away you have a chance to get massive creatures on the battlefield.
I think this werewolf is a perfect addition to creature-centric decks, and it has some nice value against counterspells.
Skylasher is an unassumingly good card. It’s a great combat trick to shift the board’s advantage. With flash, reach, and protection from blue and counters, it can strike hard on those pesky flying blue spirits or faeries.
Of all the spells that give other creatures you control protection from counterspells, Prowling Serpopard is my favorite. You get a 4/3 creature for three mana and nice protection for your future creatures.
Get ready to ramp up your mana production for this one!
Cragplate Baloth can be the absolute wrecking ball you need to win a game. It has some protection for all your investment with hexproof and the fact that it can’t be countered. Why not swing with a 10/10 with haste if you can get to the 10 mana relatively easily?
This is an indestructible creature that can give a huge draw advantage. The fact that it can’t be countered is just a cherry on top.
Thrun, the Last Troll is only legal in Modern and eternal formats, but it still packs a mean punch. For four mana you get a 4/4 creature that can’t be countered and essentially has hexproof.
Thrun can also be regenerated for a reasonable two mana. It’s nice value for whatever blocking or attacking strategies you need.
Can’t be countered? Check. Can’t be targeted? Check. Carnage Tyrant can protect itself from the majority of non-sweeper removal spells.
This is valuable insurance to have for your big creatures that you want to swing with often. Carnage Tyrant is a great creature for massive creature-centric builds and it’s legal in most non-Standard formats.
I love Shifting Ceratops for a lot of reasons. Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? It’s a big creature for cheap that can’t be countered. You also have so much versatility with its 1-mana keyword-giving activated ability.
Shifting Ceratops is legal in most non-Standard formats, and I implore you to roster it in some of your green builds.
This is a fantastic card for elf tribal decks, but it’s unfortunately only legal in eternal and Historic formats.
Best Multicolored Uncounterable Cards
Rhythm of the Wild is a decent ramp card for Gruul () builders. It protects your creatures from being countered and gives you options with counters or haste.
I love flash, reducing the cost of my cards, and protecting my spells from being countered. So I love Cunning Nightbonder.
Taigam, Ojutai Master is only legal in eternal formats, but it has some tremendous value for specific builds. It protects your dragons, instants, and sorceries, and it gives your instant and sorcery spells rebound.
You get protection and your spells can be played twice. This is a masterful (see what I did there) card and is worth consideration in the Azorius () or white-and-blue tricolor decks.
Are you sick of counterspells ruining your day? Protect your spells with Vexing Shusher!
This is a great card. It’s a great way to protect your Gruul or Jund spells. It’s cheap, easy to play, and the 1-mana protection for your spells is awesome!
With Loxodon Smiter you’re crossing your fingers to face some sort of discard threat. Interestingly, you may not want to play it on turn 3, but rather hold out for when an opponent wants to make you discard the remainder of your hand.
You still need to adjust your strategy when you see what your opponent is doing, but I generally love the interactions that can happen with this card.
Abrupt Decay is simple, effective, and protected. All these traits lead to a valuable card in my opinion. You get a perfect way to remove any nonland permanent that costs three or fewer mana.
I like this card a lot for the Golgari () decks in Pioneer, Modern, or eternal formats.
What an awesome 5/5 creature for only four mana! Spellbreaker Behemoth is a perfect addition to Gruul and other big creature decks. You get a big creature for cheap, and you can protect all your other big creatures from being countered.
Dovin’s Veto is a must-have card for the blue and white combination control players. It dominates in so many different game scenarios that it can’t not be rostered.
Get out there and control the board while winning the mana advantage against your opponent’s enchantments, instants, and planeswalkers!
There are several “can’t be countered” counterspells and Counterflux is the best of them by far. It reads like all the rest. It “can’t be countered” and you “counter target spell you don’t control.”
The value is when you get into the stack battles with an opponent. For one more mana you can overload this spell and replace the word “target” with “each.” This ultimate stack ender can leave you with a huge advantage over your opponent.
I love this card for Izzet builders in Pioneer, Modern, and eternal formats.
If you’re thinking of an Esper () deck, especially in Standard, let me introduce you to Void Rend. This is such a great 3-mana removal spell that’s useful in so many situations. It can’t be countered, and it targets any nonland permanent.
I don’t know what else you need from a removal spell.
Anyone who knows me knows that I loved Kaldheim and this Jörmungandr representation. Koma, Cosmos Serpent is a bomb card that you need to try to get onto the battlefield as soon as possible. This card thrives in reanimation or heavy mana ramp decks.
All hail the Dragonlord Dromoka! This card is a solid addition to a lot of Selesnya () decks.
Every line of text for Dromoka adds more and more value to the card. It can’t be countered, it has flying and lifelink, and now your opponent’s instants won’t work on your turn. All these additions make for a great white and green dragon card that’s worth consideration in Pioneer, Modern, and eternal formats.
Every line of text on Surrak Dragonclaw makes it more enticing. You can play it at instant speed, it can’t be countered, your other creatures can’t be countered, and your creatures now have trample.
This is an awesome card that’s worth consideration for any Temur players in Pioneer, Modern, or Eternal formats.
I don’t know a lot of players that don’t like the dragon wizard Niv-Mizzet. Niv-Mizzet, Parun might be the strongest instance of the character. This card is the endgame bomb a lot of Izzet decks are building to. You get a way to draw and deal damage whenever you do draw.
Niv-Mizzet, Parun is a card that must be removed immediately. If they can’t, you get to sit back and enjoy the victory.
Supreme Verdict is a monster value of a board wipe. It only costs four mana and can’t be countered. What more do you need when you’re a control deck player?
This is legal in most non-Standard formats and should absolutely be in multitudes of decks in all of them.
Best Colorless Uncounterable Cards
This is the kind of special land that can make a difference in contested games. Cavern of Souls is worth consideration for tribal decks in Modern and eternal formats.
15 mana is a lot to pay for a card, but the payoff is worth it. With Emrakul, the Aeons Torn you get a massive creature, an extra turn, annihilator 6, and a way to return to your library if destroyed.
Best Uncounterable Card Payoffs
The “can’t be countered” static ability is printed on a lot of expensive cards to ensure your investment. Load up on mana fixers like Abundant Growth, Apprentice Wizard, and Goldspan Dragon to make sure you can play these.
Uncounterable cards are as written. Spells and abilities that have the word “counter” can’t be used on these spells. Split second is a static ability that makes it so that if the spell with split second is on the stack, no other card or activated ability can be placed on the stack. This means that split second often works like the same effect as “can’t be countered.”
The big difference I see is that a card with split second can also protect your permanents on the battlefield from removal for a moment. This makes sure that you get some of the ETB effects that you need to trigger.
I’d prefer to have a card with split second, but it isn’t as widely used. Be aware of the card’s legalities when developing your strategy for protecting your investments.
No, it doesn’t. Hexproof protects permanents from being targeted by spells or abilities. When you cast a permanent it’s placed on the stack. It isn’t permanent until it resolves through the actions on the stack.
So your permanents with hexproof don’t have the static keyword until they resolve from the stack, which is where counter spells will be played.
Yes, you can. Spells with the words “can’t be countered” can be targeted by spells that don’t use the word “counter.” This gives some players a chance to circumnavigate the can’t be countered ability with cards like Obscura Interceptor.
Taigam, Ojutai Master | Illustration by Simon Dominic
“Can’t be countered” is a solid static ability on some bomb cards to make sure your bombs resolve. A lot of the cards above have tremendous value in a multitude of decks, from the control freaks who don’t want their counters to be countered to the massive creature fanatics that just need their creatures to be on the battlefield.
Feel free to leave a comment below to let me know which uncounterable spells you like to use most. And don’t forget to follow Draftsim on Twitter.
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