MM2: Observations on removal

Some observations about the removal in Modern Masters 2015:

  • Other than Savage Twister and Shrivel, the global removal is rare or mythic and costs 6 or more (All Is Dust, Elesh Norn Grand Cenobite, Midnight Banshee, and Wildfire).
  • There are relatively few non-global removal spells that kill multiple creatures, and all those that exist require red mana (Wrap in Flames, Electrolyze, and Comet Storm).
  • Other than Blinding Souleater, Midnight Banshee, and Karn Liberated, the reusable removal in the format comes with limitations:
    • Mortarpod, Plagued Rusalka, and Drooling Groodion require mana and sacrificing a creature.
    • Bloodshot Trainee requires an effect that increases its power by 2 or more. Similarly, Spikeshot Elder only does 1 point of damage per activation without such an effect.
    • Niv-Mizzet the Firemind requires card draw effects to do more than 2 points of damage a turn.
    • Tumble Magnet requires proliferate effects, although an aggressive affinity deck might play it even without those.
    • Waxmane Baku requires Spirits.
    • Air Servant only affects fliers.
  • Observations about the removal spells available in each color:
    • All colors have access to Blinding Souleater and Gut Shot at common, and Dismember, Mortarpod, and Tumble Magnet at uncommon.
    • White has my favorite removal suite, with Sunlance and Arrest at common, and Dispatch and Oblivion Ring at uncommon. Sunlance is a sorcery-speed Lightning Bolt that can’t target white creatures or players, but is common instead of uncommon and is less likely to be splashed by non-white players. Dispatch requires metalcraft, but is otherwise an instant-speed Bone Splinters that prevents soulshift and doesn’t require you to sacrifice a creature. On the other hand, Arrest and Oblivion Ring may suffer splash damage if people maindeck Terashi’s Grasp and Sundering Vitae to deal with artifacts.
    • Blue has Narcolepsy, which is better on defense than offense, plus 5 bounce spells and 5 counterspells. There are no effects that steal creatures in this format.
    • Most of black’s common removal only kills creatures with 1 toughness. The only common black spells that kill larger creatures are Grim Affliction, Nameless Inversion, and Bone Splinters (which only shines in B/G or G/X/b since those tend to have tokens).
    • Red’s common removal is able to kill a larger range of creatures than black’s, but the cheaper spells usually only do 2-3 points of damage, and the ones that do 4+ points of damage usually require 5+ mana. There are no effects that steal creatures in this format.
    • Green has no fight effects in this format, and only has Plummet and Sundering Vitae for removal.
  • There’s only 4 discard effect in the format: Waking Nightmare at common, Dimir Guildmage at uncommon, and Vendilion Clique and Karn Liberated at mythic.
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