Instants set Magic: The Gathering apart from the many other TCGs available to play. Not many card games allow you to act on your opponent’s turn, and these MTG cards grant you the ability to change the course of a game in the blink of an eye. The very existence of instants in MTG gives your opponents pause. Double Masters 2022 reprints some of Magic’s most powerful instants that can make an opponent flip a table.
They offer a wide range of abilities like protecting yourself, destroying an opponent’s creature, preventing spells from being cast, or sneaking damage through. However, it’s important to remember that just because you can play a spell on your opponent’s turn, doesn’t mean that’s always the right play.
10 Izzet Charm
Izzet Charm saw a lot of play in Standard when it was first printed in Return to Ravnica and continues to be played in other formats as it’s one of the most versatile charms in MTG's history.
What’s not to love about this card? It’s the epitome of Izzet (red/blue), by allowing you to counter a noncreature spell, deal damage to a creature, or draw two cards and discard two cards that you didn’t need in your hand anyway. It can find itself a home in a number of archetypes, from a tempo deck to a reanimator deck.
9 Assassin's Trophy
Talk about versatility. Nothing strikes fear into a player’s soul quite like Assassin’s Trophy. As long as it’s not a land, everything is a target to destroy.
Giving your opponent a land in return is a small price to pay to be able to destroy anything that isn’t indestructible. Assassin’s Trophy sees a lot of play in various formats, especially Commander. Nothing feels better than casting this at the end of your opponent’s turn when they think they’re safe with whatever big creature they just put onto the battlefield.
8 Surgical Extraction
Ever play against an opponent that had a card in their deck that you knew, if it didn’t exist, you’d be just fine going up against them? Surgical Extraction takes care of that for you. Being cast at instant speed is astounding, but the real kicker is its cost.
It has the mana value of one black Phyrexian mana (one black mana or two ife). The only drawback is that you have to wait for your opponent to have one copy of the card you loathe in their graveyard already. It may very well be a sideboard card a lot of the time in constructed formats, but it will be a godsend when it makes it in to the main deck.
7 Anguished Unmaking
Destroying permanents is nice and all, but have you ever exiled a permanent? The great thing about exile is that it gets around pesky little mechanics like indestructibility. Furthermore, since there are not a lot of spells that bring cards back from exile, it really shuts down recursion decks.
Imagine your opponent plays Blightsteel Colossus, thinking they have you on the ropes when you happily tap down the three necessary mana, take the three damage, and point Anguished Unmaking right at it. Now you have them on their backfoot.
6 Kolaghan's Command
Versatility seems to be a recurring theme because that’s what earns Kolaghan’s Command a place amongst the best removal spells in Modern. Being able to choose two modes from four different possibilities can be scary for your opponent, but exciting for you.
There aren’t many spells that offer that same flexibility for such a low mana value. Beyond constructed formats like Modern, Kolaghan’s Command continues to be seen in different Cube events on Magic Online. Furthermore, Double Masters 2022 reprints it with some new art that any collector will want to get their hands on.
5 Chaos Warp
Just as exile can get rid of indestructible permanents, tuck effects can do the same. However, they’re not as effective, since the permanent you’re tucking back into your opponents’ deck will inevitably return.
Chaos Warp is a little more unpredictable, since it has the potential to replace said permanent with something bigger and scarier, so player beware. It’s commonly played as removal in red decks in Commander, since red removal typically relies on damage and everything in Commander can be bigger than the damage they hope to inflict.
4 Force of Negation
Counterspells. You either love them or hate them, there is no middle ground. Force of Negation is one of the best, since it has a nice little clause that makes it free to cast as long as you can exile a blue card from your hand.
On top of that, instead of putting the countered spell in your opponent’s graveyard, it gets exiled as well. Its one drawback, if it has one, is that it can only counter noncreature spells. So, if your opponent has a creature-heavy deck, this card is useless to you.
3 Teferi's Protection
White spells are known to give protection in various manners. Sometimes they give protection from specific colors or creature-types, other times they grant hexproof, and in rare instances they will blink a creature out of harm's way. However, Teferi is a powerful time wizard that is capable of incredible feats. Hence: Teferi’s Protection.
Normally, with phasing, it’s just creatures that phase out from the battlefield, but this instant has all of your other permanents phase out as well, while also making your life total impossible to change. Unless somebody can interact with your hand or graveyard, nobody can touch you.
This is an especially useful trick in Commander. When you’re on the ropes and are about to be dealt that death blow, for one white and two generic mana, phase yourself out and live to fight another round.
2 Abzan Charm
Charms, as a general rule are good spells, because they will always have more than one ability on them, and sometimes you’re allowed to choose more than one of the modes. Even though Abzan Charm only allows you to choose one ability, it’s still an excellent instant to have in your deck.
Abzan Charm allows you to exile a creature as long as its power is three or greater, which is fine because you’re often not going to care about most creatures with power less than three. It also lets you draw a couple cards and, finally it lets you pump your team by spreading two +1/+1 counters across one or two creatures.
1 Mana Drain
It's one of the best counterspells out there, and easily something every blue player will want in their Commander deck.
For two blue mana you get to say, “nope” to anything your opponent attempts to cast, and, unlike Force of Negation, there’s no drawback here. If Mana Drain resolves, you get to add a number of colorless mana equal to the countered spell’s mana value to your mana pool on your next main phase, giving you the boost you'll need for an explosive next turn.
To prove how strong this card is, Mana Drain was banned in Legacy. Do you know how powerful a card has to be to be banned in Legacy?
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