Minor Misstep: The Surprising Counter To The Modern Meta's Top Cards

Genoslugcs February 1, 2023 8 min
Minor Misstep: The Surprising Counter To The Modern Meta's Top Cards

Phyrexia: All Will Be One hits shelves on February 10 and the spoilers have already revealed several very interesting, potentially format warping cards. Perhaps none more so than Minor Misstepimage. The card is a direct reference to Mental Misstepimage, a card that is currently banned In Modern. So, having a very similar card coming into the format is quite interesting.

Despite all their similarities, there are a few key differences as well. Today I'll be going over these differences, evaluating the card in general, and taking a look at exactly how many top Modern cards Minor Misstepimage can counter. If you're not caught up on the meta, the answer might surprise you. Without further ado, let's get started.


Minor Misstep Vs Mental Misstep

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The main difference here is that Mental Misstepimage can be cast "for free" by paying two life - Minor Misstepimage will always cost you a single Blue mana. However, despite this upside, Mental can only counter one mana value spells. While this newer version can counter one and zero mana value spells. And frankly, being able to hit zero mana spells is amazing.

Moving forward, let's compare it to the other one mana counterspells in the format.

Vs Spell Pierce


I would say this is the premier one mana counterspell for the format, and it's great. However, it has its limitations just like everything else. First, it only hits non-creature spells and while this limits its interaction some this isn't the end of the world. After all, Modern has a ton of important non-creature spells you want to be able to answer.

The real downside comes from the fact that it isn't a hard counter. Anytime your opponent can pay the two mana, Spell Pierceimage isn't very good. So, as the game goes on or against certain decks, has some weaknesses for sure. That said, where it shines is against other decks playing counters. For example, if some taps out to Archmage's Charmimage your spell, Spell Pierce gets the last laugh.

I think that Minor Misstepimage will 100% be replacing Spell Pierce in some decks but certainly not all of them. The fact that Misstep is a hard counter gives it some serious upside here. In truth, I think they will see play in tandem quite a bit.

Vs Flusterstorm


Flusterstorm is coming up somewhat often in sideboards these days, so I'll go over it as well. Overall, it's somewhat similar to Spell Pierceimage since it's a soft counter and it has some targeting limitations since it hits only Instants and Sorceries. Considering Pierce hits any non-creature spell, it has the edge here. However, there aren't a ton of problematic Enchantments or Planeswalkers at the moment, so it doesn't matter as much.

The upside that Flusterstormimage has comes from it having Strorm. The main reason that this is so good is that it makes Flusterstorm immune to being countered by Force of Negationimage, which is enormous in certain matchups. If it ends a chain of spells, it's basically "uncounterable" itself which can't be said about any other spell here.

What Does Minor Misstep Counter In Modern?

In general, the answer is a lot. But let's break it down and go over the key cards it hits. I'll also continue the comparison of the cards above and give a yes, no, or maybe as to whether each spell mentioned above can counter the card in question - Assuming the opponent doesn't have a counterspell of their own and also assuming they can't pay the mana for Spell Pierceimage and Flusterstormimage. That said, keep in mind that a "yes" in this section isn't a guarantee.

You May Also Like: Five Amazing Phrexia: All Will Be One Cards To build Around In Modern

Card Name Minor Misstep Spell Pierce Flusterstorm
Lightning Boltimage Yes Yes Yes
Engineered Explosivesimage  Depends  Yes  No
Furyimage  No  No  No
Mystical Disputeimage  No   Yes   Yes
Expressive Iterationimage  No   Yes   Yes
Ragavan, Nimble Pilfererimage Yes No No
Mishra's Baubleimage  Yes  Yes  No
Unholy Heatimage  Yes  Yes  Yes
Blood Moonimage  No  Yes  No
Dress Downimage  No  Yes  No
Teferi, Time Ravelerimage  No  Yes  No
Unlicensed Hearseimage  No  Yes  No
Enduranceimage  No  No  No
Dragon's Rage Channelerimage  Yes  Yes  No
Pithing Needleimage  Yes  Yes  No
Ledger Shredderimage  No  No  No
Force of Vigorimage  No  Yes  Yes
Counterspellimage  No  Yes  Yes
Veil of Summerimage  Yes  Yes  Yes
Considerimage  Yes  Yes  Yes
Shadowspearimage  Yes  Yes  No
Subtletyimage  No  No  No
Prismatic Endingimage  Depends  Yes  Yes
Wear // Tearimage  Yes for Tear. No for Wear  Yes  Yes
Springleaf Drumimage  Yes  Yes  No
Card Name Minor Misstep Spell Pierce Flusterstorm
 Thoughtseizeimage  Yes  Yes  Yes
 Relic of Progenitusimage  Yes  Yes  No
 Springleaf Drumimage  Yes  Yes  No
 Leyline Bindingimage  Depends  Yes  No
 Chalice of the Voidimage  Depends  Yes  No
 Wrenn and Siximage  No  Yes  No
 Brazen Borrowerimage  No  Yes for Petty Theft  Yes for Petty Theft
 Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jikiimage  No  Yes  No
 Sanctifier en-Vecimage  No  No  No
 Path to Exileimage  Yes  Yes  Yes
 Brotherhood's Endimage  No  Yes  Yes
 Jegantha, the Wellspringimage  No  No  No
 Force of Negationimage  No  Yes  Yes
 Murktide Regentimage  No  No  No
 Underworld Breachimage  No  Yes  No
 Fire // Iceimage  No  Yes  Yes
 Seasoned Pyromancerimage  No  No  No
 Fatal Pushimage  Yes  Yes  Yes
 March of Otherworldly Lightimage  Depends  Yes  Yes
 Haywire Miteimage  Yes  No  No
 Stoneforge Mysticimage  No  No  No
 Terminateimage  No  Yes  Yes
 Abradeimage  No  Yes  Yes
Esper Sentinelimage Yes No No

The Numbers

So, the numbers are in. Minor Misstepimage counters 18 (36%) of the top 50 most played cards in Modern. The number might not seem incredible but I think that's deceptive. Some of these cards are amongst the top played in the format and it counters them without fail. And there are five more spells (March of Otherworldly Lightimage for example, that Misstep will hit at times.

Spell Pierceimage hits 37 (74%) of the top 50. However, none of these is a guarantee. If an opponent can pay the extra two mana, all 37 of these spells could still resolve. So, nearly three-quarters of the top played cards is an eligible target for Spell Pierce but you're not guaranteed to hit any of them - Amazing ceiling, less good floor.

Flusterstormimage can counter 20 (40%) of the top 50, which is slightly better than Misstep and slightly worse than Spell Pierceimage. Having said that, none of these "yeses" are 100% since your opponent can hypothetically pay for the spell to resolve.

Match Up Specific Analysis

Let's look at this from a slightly different perspective because decks don't play all 50 of these cards. And just because it can counter a spell doesn't mean you'll actually want to counter it. For example, how often do you want to counter Mishra's Baubleimage? We'll start with the top deck in the format - U/R Murktide.

U/R Murktide


So, the majority of the spells here are within reach of Misstep. But as mentioned, I don't know how often you'll want to counter some of these. In this list, I would argue that the two and three-mana spells are more important. Furthermore, I can't really see Murktide swapping Spell Pierceimage out for Minor Misstepimage in the current meta either.

Hammer Time

Next, let's look at Hammer Time.


Again, the vast majority of the spells are low-mana enough for Misstep to have targets. So, again, the question is "do you want to have Minor Misstepimage on this matchup? Overall, probably not. However, I want it more in this matchup than the Murktide matchup and I would rather have Misstep here than I would Spell Pierceimage.

Crashing Footfalls Cascade

Lastly, let's have a look at a Crashing Footfallsimage cascade deck.


By far the best target in this matchup is Crashing Footfallsimage. Other than that, Misstep is pretty much a miss here. Is just hitting the Cascade cards here and in Living Endimage good enough to warrant sleeving it up. I think so if you bring the card in from your sideboard. That said, I don't think I would be taking out Spell Sierce or Flusterstormimage here either.

Final Thoughts

With all of that said, do I think Mental Misstepimage is good in Modern? Yes, I do. I think it has its place and its strengths and weaknesses - I think it is a good card but a fair card. If I had to guess, I would say it will be at its best in tempo decks where it matters less what you're countering and more that you slow your opponent down a turn a higher percentage of the time. I personally will be throwing this into Izzet Ponza.

Overall, a one-mana hard counter sounds scary but I don't see it crippling any decks. I think it will see both main and sideboard play in the format alongside the other counters mentioned here and it is yet another tool on the belt of Modern decks. I like it but I'm not afraid of it.


There you have it ladies and gentlemen, my thoughts on the hottest new uncommon from Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Aside from my personal opinion, I also tried to provide some factual data as well as how the card looks against certain top Modern decks so that it will be easier for you to form an educated opinion - I hope you enjoyed it.

 Comment down below and let me know what you think of Minor Misstepimage and if you'll be brewing with it.


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@ytojimba You're right, my friend. Thank you for the comment and the correction. I'll edit the article ASAP.
Leyline Binding’ domain ability which reduces how much one has to pay to cast it depending on land types in play doesn’t actually change it’s CMC. On the stack it’s still a 6 CMC card. Minor misstep doesn’t work here
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