What Are Stun Counters in MTG?

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During the lead-up to Dominaria United’s spoiler season, Mark Rosewater revealed some huge details about the set. This included the fact that Dominaria United would consist of a brand new Evergreen mechanic for players to enjoy. Now that Dominaria United’s spoiler season is ending, we know the details about this new mechanic. Named Stun Counters, MTG players can expect to see a lot more of this mechanic throughout 2022 and beyond

As a brand new mechanic in MTG, Stun Counters may take some getting used to. Thankfully, the mechanic is mercifully simple and builds upon a previous mechanic. This should help players get up to speed with Stun Counters reasonably quickly, so don’t fret about them being evergreen. 

Without any further ado, let’s get into all the details and everything you need to know about Stun Counters! 

What Are Stun Counters in MTG? 

Introduced in Dominaria United, Stun Counters are a new MTG mechanic that keeps permanents tapped for longer. Similarly to the mechanic, “target creature doesn’t untap during its controller’s next untap step,” Stun Counters keep a creature out of the action for an extended period. If a permanent with a Stun Counter would become untapped, it instead remains tapped, and a Stun Counter is removed from it. 

Unlike “target creature doesn’t untap during its controller’s next untap step,” Stun Counters have a lot more utility. For instance, cards such as Impede Momentumcan keep a creature tapped for longer by giving it three Stun Counters. This allows players to mitigate a threat for longer than just one turn without completely removing it. 

What Are the Rules for Stun Counters in MTG? 

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While the effect of Stun Counters is pretty straightforward, as always, there are some rules and quirks to consider. First and foremost, the simple stuff. Stun Counters can be put on already tapped permanents, and they can be removed via any untap effect. This means that the untap step, abilities, or spells that untap a permanent, and costs paid via untapping all remove a single Stun Counter. Since Stun Counters keep a permanent tapped, effects that trigger when a permanent “becomes untapped” won’t trigger if a Stun Counter is removed instead. 

While permanents are not traditionally untapped while they have Stun Counters on them, costs that require untapping a permanent can still be paid. For instance, Halo Fountain’s abilities may be paid by a creature with Stun Counters on it. Rather than completely untapping the targeting creature, instead, only one Stun Counter will be removed, and the creature will remain tapped. Permanents affected by Stun Counters cannot be untapped multiple times to pay a single spell’s cost. 

As counters, Stun Counters will be affected by spells with generic counter interactions. This includes cards such as Doubling Season, Power Conduit, and Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider. Additionally, any spell with Proliferate will be able to increase the number of Stun Counters on a permanent.

Read More: What Is Read Ahead in MTG?