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Red Elemental Blast is a powerful but specific Magic card. It sees fringe play in Legacy and Vintage in the sideboard, and in Pauper its cousin Pyroblast sees sideboard play as well. A one mana counter for any blue spell is strong. Mystical Dispute gives us another version of that effect, but in blue!
Mystical Dispute breakdown
For 3 mana in blue, Mystical Dispute is an instant that counters the target spell unless its controller pays 3. In other words, it’s a more expensive Mana Leak. Normally, this would be written off as limited fodder at this point. However, the other line of text on this card sets it apart: Mystical Dispute costs 2 mana less if it targets a blue spell. This effectively makes is a Red Elemental Blast in blue that also has the upside of being a slightly more expensive Mana Leak for everything else. It should be noted, though, that it cannot remove blue permanents, only counter blue spells.
Is Mystical Dispute good enough to see play? In Standard, it will likely find a home in some sideboards. However, the presence of Teferi, Time Raveler makes the card a tough sell. If Teferi continues to be prominent in the format, counterspells just look bad and won’t see much play.
As for Modern and Legacy, the card may be good enough to see some sideboard play. In Legacy specifically, it will be interesting to see whether it can replace Pyroblast for the URx decks. For Vintage, Mystical Dispute could be good enough to main deck. The format is littered with blue spells, so the card always has targets, and even if your opponent casts a non-blue spell, it’s still live. It will be interesting to see whether the card can find a home in the sideboards of multiple formats.
What do you think of Mystical Dispute? Do you plan on testing it out in the sideboard of your favorite deck? Let us know down in the comments below!