There is an instant card called "Cancel" with this effect and also a creature whose name I forgot. I don't really understand the effect of "counter target spell" and how (and when) to use this card. I tried to use it against an instant card from my opponent, but apparently "counter target spell" doesn't destroy the enemy instant which I thought would happen...

Could someone please explain how this card is used?

  • I'm sorry. I forgot the link. I'll edit......edited. – wullxz Sep 15 '13 at 7:25
  • Cancel does what it says on the tin - it is played in response to another spell and it counters that spell, so the countered spell doesn't resolve and (usually) goes directly to the graveyard without ever hitting the battlefield. – shanodin Sep 15 '13 at 7:29

When you "Counter" a spell it essentially never happens. This can only be done during the time the spell is being cast.

A spell that is countered is put into the graveyard instead of doing its effect.

In Magic the Gathering, everything but land is a spell. So whether your opponent is playing a creature, instant, sorcery, enchantment, etc. it can be countered.

As far as why your specific counter did not work, perhaps you targeted the wrong card? Or maybe your opponent used a counter on your Cancel (countering your counter). Another reason could be that the spell specifically cannot be countered. It is also possible that you attempted to counter first and the instant was play on the stop of the stack, meaning it resolves first. In order to know for sure, we would need to know what spell the opponent was playing as well as anything on the field.

  • it is clear to me now, how this card works. However, I don't understand what happened earlier. I'll just try that card again and will ask again if it doesn't behave as you explained ;) – wullxz Sep 15 '13 at 8:36
  • I have played MtG for a long time now so if you have additional questions I am more than willing to help you out. – Batophobia Sep 15 '13 at 17:52
  • I would recommend going over to the Board Games and Card Games SE for MtG help, as it's off topic here. – shanodin Sep 20 '13 at 18:45
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    @shanodin Not if it is about the games. It could very well be that the counter is bugged. – Batophobia Sep 20 '13 at 19:30
  • @Batophobia true, but your comment implied something else. – shanodin Sep 21 '13 at 5:02

If a spell has been countered, it never resolved or hit the battlefield. Therefore the effect of the countered card never gets used.


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