Greetings, rule arcanists!
I want to talk about Counterplot for a minute because it exhibits a pretty confusing templating. Let's have a quick look at the event:
Most importantly: "After an opponent reveals a plot card, kneel a unique character to cancel the revealing of that plot [...]"
The first part of this line is worded like a normal response (to be played in step 5 of the framework action window) even though the effect is actually a cancel (to be played in step 2 of the framework action window), wordings that are obviously at odds with each other. To put this in perspective, imagine The Hand's Judgement was worded as follows:
"Response: After an opponent plays an event, pay 1 gold to cancel the effects of that event card."
This contrived effect is worded to take place in the response step of the action window but does something that should happen in its save/cancel step. Here the actual event for comparison:
The Hand's Judgement is a good example for the standard templating of cancels used on over 30 different cards:
Pay cost X to cancel Y.
Only one other card in the game has the same wording as Counterplot that combines passive introductory line with cancel effect, and that card is Bronze Shield. So, what distinguishes these two cards from all other cards with cancel effects?
It turns out they're the only two direct cancels (i.e. not counting cards like Oberyn's Shield Bearer) that specificly cancel an opponent's effect. Does that mean the "After X happens" line has no bearing on the timing of the cancel at all and is but a mere reminder that you aren't allowed to cancel one of your own effects with it? What is the problem with
"Kneel a unique character to cancel the revealing of an opponent's plot card and move it to its owner's used pile. [...]"
"Kill attached character to cancel the effects of an opponent's event card just played. [...]",
solutions that don't change the way both cards play out but are congruent to all other cancel effects?
Why does this matter?
I stumbled upon this issue when I asked myself whether playing Counterplot counts against the limit of your own Fear of Winter. With the current wording on Counterplot there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer to this particular question.
Cancels are supposed to happen before the resolution of the framework action. Since plots are revealed simultanteously, Fear of Winter is not yet revealed when you play Counterplot to cancel the revealing of your opponent's plot and thus Counterplot doesn't count against the Fear of Winter limit.
On the other hand, the line "After an opponent reveals a plot card..." indicates that plots have already been revealed when you play Counterplot, which would effectively make it the one card you're allowed to play during the Fear of Winter turn.
I'm looking forward to reading your opinions or getting torn apart by a mob for being a lunkhead. Cheers!