Spells of MTG in D&D: Counterspells Part 1

Compared to D&D, Magic the Gathering is brimming with counterspells. As D&D only has the one, I thought it’d be exciting to translate a few over from MTG to give some exciting new options for control-based player characters and NPCs.

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Countersquall
3rd-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you can take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you cast a spell.
Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell is of 2nd level or lower, its spell fails and it has no effect. If it is of 3rd level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s spell fails and has no effect. If the spell is countered in this way, the creature suffers 2d8 lightning damage.

To compensate for keeping this spell at a lower casting level, I lowered the level of spells that it automatically counters, so that it can also deal lightning damage while at level 3.

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Disallow
4th-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you can take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you cast a spell, or make an action other than a melee

weapon attack

or ranged weapon attack.
Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell, or making an action. If the creature is casting a spell is of 3rd level or lower, its spell fails and it has no effect. If it is of 4th level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s spell fails and has no effect. Alternatively, if the creature is making a non-spell action, it must make a Wisdom saving throw vs your spell save DC. On a failed save, the creature is unable to make the intended action this turn, but does not use up its action this turn.

The limitation I added for countering actions with this spell was included so that when a party of players are fighting a particularly powerful creature, countering its multiattack doesn’t lock it out of combat and dull the battle.

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Memory Lapse
3rd-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you can take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you cast a spell.
Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell is of 3rd level or lower, its spell fails and it has no effect. If it is of 4th level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s spell fails and has no effect. If the spell is countered, the creature no longer has it prepared, but regains the spell slot used to cast it.

I wanted to keep this at 3rd level, and give it a similar effect to the card, as well as including flavour of forgetting the spell (which I represented with the spell no longer being prepared). The spell slot is retained instead of used up, in the same vein of the spell not being countered and put into the graveyard.

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Mental Misstep
1st-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you can take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you cast a cantrip or a spell at 1st-level.
Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
You interrupt a creature in the process of casting a cantrip or a spell at 1st-level. The spell the creature is casting fails and it has no effect. You may cast this spell by suffering 5 necrotic damage instead of expending a spell slot.

As I wanted to represent the phyrexian mana cost for this spell, I gave it an amount of damage that can quite heavily affect weaker spellcaster characters. This cost allowing it to be cast more than normal is balanced out by the fact that it only affects spells which can be cast more regularly.

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Spell Swindle
5th-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you can take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you cast a spell
Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
You attempt to capture the energy of a spell before it is fully cast, and transmute it into a small fortune. If the creature is casting a spell is of 5th level or lower, its spell fails and it has no effect. If it is of 6th level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s spell fails and has no effect. When a spell is countered in this way, the energy of the spell is transmuted into d20gp for each level of the countered spell, which rains down around you.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the interrupted spell has no effect if its level is less than or equal to the level of the spell slot you used. 

The first thing that came to mind with this counter was that it should be a transmutation spell as opposed to an abjuration one. As a 5th level spell, it functions similarly to regular counterspell cast at that level, but lacks the flexibility.


Find a couple of other counterspells that I’ve translated to D&D from MTG in my Spells of Zendikar post!

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