I have asked about discard and the graveyard, now it is time to wade into probably the most contentious area of Magic - Counterspells. Counterspells, in my opinion, define Vintage. More than card draw or fast mana, Vintage is the format with the most counterspells played. If you are running any "fair" deck you probably have 10 to 12 counterspells in your deck and if you are running blue based combo you have at least 4 counters and access to 2 to 4 more.
The first question would be why are counterspells everywhere? The obvious answer is because they are free or very cheap. The next answer is that they are required to survive an unfair format. Both answers are right but they are also both wrong.
If you include a spell, even if it is free you are losing a slot to another spell that could do something else. Every "free" spell has a cost even if we think it is small or negligible.
I play blue decks, and I would never call them "fair" even though that is what they are often called. Let's view counterspells from the opposing lens. I invest in casting a spell and you get to say no to that spell. To many players, this feels unfair. It feels so unfair that they got rid of counterspell in 8th edition and it is not in Modern.
This type of play is often called "interactive", but if you are playing against a deck that does not have counterspells it feels one sided and often dumb.
Even if you are playing with counterspells the counter wars feel arbitrary. I know I will get all kinds of feedback arguing about skill and how to play these spells but that is not the point of this thread.
The point and the question is that they are everywhere in Vintage and often overwhelming. Again, I play these spells, and I'm part of this institution.
My question, is this good for Vintage? Are counterspells making Vintage less innovative? Are we too reliant on them? Do players from other formats look at Vintage and think that looks dumb why bother?
There are many benefits to playing counterspells. Especially, with super fast mana available and Vintage has several decks that can just win turn one or turn 2. Do we have too many counterspells in our decks?