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Card of the Week – Withering Boon

There are five colours in Magic, and each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. They also have certain aspects of the game that they are the strongest in. For example, Green is the colour of ramp, and Blue is the colour of counterspells. Or is it?

Withering Boon is fast becoming a pet card of mine because the only thing your opponent expects less than a hard counterspell in black is the Spanish Inquisition. Which is what makes it the card of the week.

Mirage printing 
Instant 
As an additional cost to cast this spell, pay 3 life.
Counter target creature spell.
Nobody will see it coming

Withering Boon is an Interrupt for 1B and 3 life that counters a summon spell. Back in 1996 when it received its only printing to date this made sense. However, it has since received an errata and the oracle text can be found here on Gatherer. It is now an Instant that counters a creature spell, essentially it is a black Essence Scatter.

Counterspells are always worth running as they allow you to deal with a problematic card before it even hits the battlefield. You can spend 2 mana to counter a spell that cost your opponent any amount of mana. Paying 3 life is hardly a downside, life is a resource and you start with 40 of it in commander.

The downside of the Spanish Inquisition… I mean Withering Boon is that it can only counter creature spells. In commander this is less of an issue as at least one deck at the table will be running creatures. Additionally the the vast majority of decks run a creature as the commander.

Withering Boon is a highly flexible card that can go in almost any deck that is running black and not running blue. It is worth running if for no other reason than the look on your opponent’s face because no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.