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Zero Counter (ゼロカウンター, Zero kauntā) is a keyword which debuted in BS44. The keyword's text reads:

  • Zero Counter - When the opponent summons a Spirit/Brave without paying the cost, other than by a Burst effect. this card in your hand can be used without paying the cost and immediately activate the following effect.
    Effect. After this effect resolves, by paying X cost, return this card to your hand.

Later, in BS51, another set of Zero Counter cards appeared with six Revival cards. Unlike previous Zero Counter that destroys or ends the step, the new set of Zero Counter bounces the target to bottom of deck. And the text for returning the Zero Counter cards back to hand is altered from "After this effect resolves" to "Then".

So far there are four different effects released:

  1. Destroy one opposing Spirit. After this effect resolves, by paying one cost, return this card to your hand.
  2. Immediately end this Step. After this effect resolves, by paying two cost, return this card to your hand.
  3. Destroy opposing Spirits up to a total of 10000 BP. After this effect resolves, by paying one cost, return this card to your hand.
  4. Return an opposing Spirit to the deckbottom. Then, by paying one cost, return this card to your hand.

Q&A

Q1. What is Zero Counter?
A1. It is an effect that can be used without paying the cost when opponent summons Spirit/Brave without paying the cost, other than by a Burst effect. Zero Counter activates before (When Summoned) effects.

Q2. Between Zero Counter effect and (When Summoned) effect of opponents Spirit/Brave that was summoned without paying the cost, other than by a Burst effect, which will be resolved first?
A2. Zero Counter will be resolved first. However, when facing removal effects, the summoned Spirit's "Armor"-named effects or "unaffected" effects are in activation before Zero Counter.

Q3. When the Summoned Spirit/Brave is destroyed by Zero Counter, even when it has a (When Summoned) effect, it isn't activated and is sent to trash?
A3. Yes.

Q4. When using Zero Counter effect that immediately end the step, does the step ends without activating the summoned Spirit's/Brave's (When Summoned) effect?
A4. Yes. When Zero Counter effect that immediately end the step is activated, only the effects of Zero Counter and any other effect derived from/against Zero Counter will be resolved. At that time, any other effects that is not related to Zero Counter aren't resolved, such as (When Summoned) effect or any other effect derived from the summon of a Spirit / Brave (e.g. The Rose Blooming in the Lake - add core from void to the nexus when a cost 4 or higher green spirit is summoned).

Q5. When opponent uses Zero Counter effect that immediately end the step, then pays two cost to return the Magic card to hand (e.g. Revival Thorn Prison), can you activate "After your opponent increases their hand due to their effects" effects?
A5. Yes, you can, because it is derived against opponent's Zero Counter.

Q6. When opponent uses Zero Counter effect that immediately end the step, then pays two cost to return the Magic card to hand (i.e, Revival Thorn Prison), can you activate Burst that triggers with the condition [After your opponent increases their hand due to their effects]?
A6. Yes, you can, because it is derived against opponent's Zero Counter.

Q7. When the opponent is using Zero Counter effect that immediately end the step, can they activate his Burst that trigger with the condition [After a Spirit/Brave is summoned by opposing effects] (i.e. The Valkyrie SchwertLaute)?
A7. As the Burst is derived from the summon of your Spirit/Brave, the Burst can't be activated and the step will end.

Q8. When using Zero Counter effect that immediately end the step, can effects that activate at the end of the step activate?
A8. Yes, it can be activated.

Q9. During opponent's Main Step, if I used 2 copies of Zero Counter with effect that immediately end the step, does the Opponent's Main Step and Attack Step be ended?
A9. No, it doesn't end the opposing Main Step and Attack Step. When resolving the 1st copy, the step will end and no other effect can be resolved, unless derived from or against the 1st copy's Zero Counter effect. The 2nd copy will be unusable and will be returned back to your hand.

Q10. When the opponent summons one Spirit/Brave without paying the cost, other than by a Burst effect, and you use two copies of Zero Counter effects, both with the effect "Destroy an opposing Spirit", can you destroy two opposing Spirits simultaneously?
A10. Yes, you can. However, if the 1st copy of Zero Counter destroys the summoned Spirit, the 2nd copy will be unusable and will be returned back to your hand.

Q11. When a Spirit is summoned with no costs due to the change of cost or full reductions, can Zero Counter be used?
A11. No, you can't. In these cases, the Spirit is summoned "in 0 costs" instead of "without paying the cost". Zero Counter specifically deals with Spirits/Braves summoned "without paying the cost".

Q12. When the effect summons a Spirit without paying the cost while having other effects activating right after the summon (e.g. The DragonMaskOgre Biranba), can Zero Counter be used and intercept the effect?
A12. No, it can't.

Q13: When two Zero Counter are activating at the same time, which one resolves first?
A13: All Zero Counter effects are declared first, then the turn player decides which effect resolves first. After the 1st Zero Counter effect resolves and cancels the condition fulfilment for the 2nd Zero Counter effect, the 2nd copy will be unusable and will be returned back to the hand.

Cards with Zero Counter Effects

List of Magics with Zero Counter

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