How Much Interaction Can You Achieve in Magic?
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Interaction is typically defined as anything that disrupts your opponents, usually by messing with their stuff. This includes counterspells, removal cards, and even board wipes.
There are a few different ways that interaction can be accomplished in magic. The most common is through cards that messes with an opponent’s stuff: counterspells, removal, artifact destruction, and land destruction. This kind of interaction is great for removing threats from the table before they have a chance to resolve.
However, this isn’t necessarily what makes a good deck – interaction does not have to be used against permanents on the board; it can also include things like replacement effects (e.g. Containment Priest). This type of interaction can help prevent a combo from ever getting out, and it’s a lot better than just doing a board wipe, because it still allows the player to make choices and feel involved in the game.
A lot of interaction comes in the form of sorcery based cards. This is mostly because of the way that tutors work in the format; sorcery based tutors are harder to stop by a focused, tutor based response as it can only be countered when the problematic spell is on the stack, not after it resolves. Sorcery based interaction can be fun, such as Council’s Judgement punishing anyone who puts anything in their graveyard or the Geist of Sant Traft equipped with Darksteel Plate. It deals 2 damage, exiles a target and gets past hexproof/enchantments.
Destroy/exile is also a good source of interaction, however it’s more of a deterrent against opponents who are trying to get something done rather than proactively interfering in your opponent’s gameplan. The best destroy/exile is often the more versitile ones that deal with enchantments as well (Swan Song). Mana cost also plays a huge role in how good destroy/exile is and can depend on playgroups too.
One of the more exciting things to do in Magic is to stop a combo from working. It can get old quickly however when that interaction comes in the form of a bunch of cards that exile. There seem to be more and more exile effects compared to destroys in the sets recently. This makes it harder to build recursion engines. Especially since there are few ways to return a card from exile once it’s been exiled. Some notable examples are foretell, meld, and scavenge.
Exile is a game zone outside of the field of play that was previously known as “removed from the game” until the rules changes with Magic 2010. When a creature is sent to exile it does not die, so any abilities that check for when a creature or planeswalker dies will not trigger. This is an important distinction because it can mean the difference between a powerful creature being dead and it still being in play when you want to use it.