ORI: Observations on removal

Some observations about the removal in Magic Origins:

  • Every color has access to some form of mass removal, even green (Joraga Invocation and The Great Aurora). The main ones to avoid overextending into are Tragic Arrogance, Chandra’s Ignition (does damage equal to the power of a creature you control), Languish (4 toughness), Eyeblight Massacre (2 toughness), and Chandra’s Fury (1 toughness), and you also need to be careful about overattacking into a Hixus Prison Warden if your opponent has WW2 available. Eyeblight Massacre, Hixus Prison Warden, and Archangel of Tithes are the only ones that aren’t symmetric or mostly symmetric. While most of the mass removal is rare or mythic, Chandra’s Fury is a common, and Eyeblight Massacre and Joraga Invocation are uncommons.
  • The only non-mass removal spell that affects multiple creatures is Kytheon’s Irregulars, which can tap multiple creatures.
  • Other than Sentinel of the Eternal Watch (uncommon), Kytheon’s Irregulars (rare), and Molten Vortex (rare), the reusable removal in the format requires you to jump through some hoops:
    • Grasp of the Hieromancer, Mage-Ring Responder (rare), and Gideon, Battle-Forged (mythic) require a specific creature to attack.
    • Akroan Jailer and Mage-Ring Responder (rare) require a significant amount of mana to reuse their abilities.
    • Disciple of the Ring (mythic) requires exiling 1 instant/sorcery in your graveyard per use.
    • Blightcaster (uncommon) requires you to play enchantments.
    • Ghirapur AEther Grid (uncommon) and Pia and Kiran Nalaar (rare) require you to have artifacts in play (although Pia and Kiran Nalaar bring 2 of their own).
    • Blazing Hellhound (uncommon) requires you to sacrifice creatures.
  • Observations about the removal available in each color:
    • All colors have access to Throwing Knife and Meteorite at uncommon, both of which deal 2 points of damage. There’s also Mage-Ring Responder at rare, and Alchemist’s Vial at common can prevent a creature from attacking or blocking for a turn.
    • White has a good permanent creature removal suite, with Celestial Flare and Supression Bond at common, and Swift Reckoning at uncommon. Among the temporary removal, the commons are unimpressive, and include an aura that’s unplayable in most decks, an expensive tapper, and Heavy Infantry, which you rarely want multiples of. However, Sentinel of the Eternal Watch (uncommon), Kytheon’s Irregulars (rare), and Archangel of Tithes (mythic) are bombs.
    • Blue has a varied removal suite. There’s the usual bounce (Disperse, Separatist Voidmage at uncommon, and Harbinger of the Tides and Displacement Wave at rare), Anchor to the AEther (uncommon) for repulse, Disciple of the Ring (mythic) for tapping, Send to Sleep for freeze, Claustrophobia for permanently tapping a creature, Willbreaker (rare) for stealing creatures, and Turn to Frog (uncommon) for turning a creature into a 1/1 temporarily.
    • At common and uncommon, black has to spend 3 mana to kill X/1’s (Eyeblight Assassin), 4 mana to kill X/2’s (Weight of the Underworld at common, and Eyeblight Massacre and Blightcaster at uncommon), and 5 mana to kill larger creatures (Unholy Hunger at common, and Cruel Revival at uncommon). At rare, black has 4-mana spells that kill X/4’s (Languish and Demonic Pact). Black also has a few other assorted removal spells: Reave Soul, Fleshbag Marauder (uncommon), and Gilt-Leaf Winnower (rare). Other than Reave Soul, black usually has to spend 5 mana to kill even an X/3.
    • Red can kill 1-3 toughness creatures at common, has Fiery Conclusion (5 dmg) and Ravaging Blaze (X dmg) at uncommon, and has Exquisite Firecraft (4 dmg) and Chandra’s Ignition (your creature deals P dmg to all others) at rare. While red doesn’t have many ways to kill creatures with a toughness of 4 or more (Fiery Conclusion requires sacrificing a creature, Ravaging Blaze requires 6 mana, and the other options are rares), it can use falter effects (Seismic Elemental at uncommon), borrow effects (Act of Treason at common, and Enthralling Victor at uncommon), and Ravaging Blaze as finishers once its creatures are outclassed.
    • Green has a fight spell and a flyer removal spell at common, as it often does. It also has Joraga Invocation at uncommon, which I played once and had mixed results with, possibly because I had only 13 creatures in that deck. It’s great on a stalled board, but doesn’t let you win out of nowhere like Overrun can, even though it costs 1 more mana. I think it’s still playable in G/W reknown or B/G Elves since those decks tend to play a lot of small creatures that can get outclassed as the game goes on.
  • There are a number of discard spells that force you to discard multiple cards, which is worth keeping in mind when deciding how to play your hand out. Black has Nightsnare (1-2 cards) at common, Tormented Thoughts (# cards equal to the power of a sacrificed creature) at uncommon, and Demonic Pact (2 cards) at rare.

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