What are Shield Counters in Magic: The Gathering?

You have my shield.

Image via WotC

Magic: The Gathering’s latest set has a handful of new mechanics being introduced to go with the five crime families that fit the lore of the Streets of New Capenna—and among them is Shield Counters.

The mechanic is associated with the Brokers family, which is represented by White, Green, and Blue. The color combination is also known for being the Bant shard from the Alara block and is known for having a protective and board control playstyle.

Shield Counters are a counter that prevent damage or destruction of the permanent that they are placed on. Whenever a Shield Counter prevents damage to or the destruction of a permanent, it is then removed from that permanent. Damage prevention includes combat damage, damage from spells, and damage from abilities.

Image via WotC

“If it would be dealt damage or destroyed, remove a shield counter from it instead,” the reminder text for Shield Counter reads.

Shield Counters can’t be used to protect a permanent against damage that is labeled as unpreventable.

There are nine cards in total that use the Shield Counter mechanic and all of them fall under the Brokers color combination. Most of the cards are creatures, and White and Blue are the most represented colors featuring the mechanic. Both colors have three cards with the mechanic. There are two cards with the mechanic that are Green and one card, Disciplined Duelist, requires all three colors to cast.