Hey Guys, welcome to this weeks episode of Delving with Devin. With Amonkhet’s release just around the corner, I decided to do an article based on standard this week, since it’s the format that will be the most impacted by the new set.
Today I will be ranking standards best removal spells! But before we get into the top eight, I’d like to list a few honourable mentions that just barely didn’t make the cut!
Blessed Alliance, while great, is a bit to restrictive. opponents can play around this spell, and often creatures generate value just by being in play (ie tireless tracker) and holding a spell like blessed alliance could be a liability in those match-ups.
Incendiary Flow; previously this card was one of the few ways to answer recursive creatures such as scrapheap scrounger, however this is no longer the case, and this card misses the list!
Chandra, Torch of Defiance/ Nahiri, the Harbinger; I decided to leave planeswalkers off the list as removal is often considered to be just instants, sorceries, and sometimes enchantments. However these cards can definitely hold their own and could be considered removal!
So without further ado….
The Top 8 Removal Spells in Amonkhet Standard
To start off our list today, we’re starting with a new card from Amonkhet! Number eight today is: Never/Return Finally a way to answer planeswalkers in standard! We’ve missed you hero’s downfall. While this card may not be quite as efficient as hero’s downfall since it is a sorcery, it still gets the job done in a tap out style deck. You can even get more value when the game slows down with its aftermath ability getting a zombie later on, possibly by exiling a scrapheap scrounger? All around solid two for one built into good removal!
Number 7 on our list today might be a surprise! Grasp of darkness! You know the removal is getting better in standard when this card is ranked number seven. Being double black in the casting cost is what’s really holding this card back, as there are now removal spells that are easier to cast, and can deal with the same amount or more creatures as this. That being said, if you are running a list that is based black where the BB casting cost isn’t too prohibitive, this card is still fantastic.
Number six today is a sweet one! Cast Out This is probably one of my favourite cards from the new set, so it pains me that I’ve only placed it at six on this list! The ability to cycle for one mana is busted! Need to hit land drops? Get there. Need to find a threat in top deck mode? It does that too! Need to remove a hard to answer threat? Already have it! What doesn’t this card do?
The fifth most potent removal spell in standard is: Magma Spray / Shock I decided to score these cards together because they are both functionally the same. The major differences being that magma spray can exile scrapheaps while shock can go the the face, and deal with planeswalkers. (ie: Saheeli Combo). When choosing which one of these to run, you really need to have a read on the meta and decide which effect is more relevant, perhaps a 2/2 split or 3/1 split is the best. Still, 1 mana removal in any format is a dream come true.
Number four on our list today is: Unlicensed Desintigration. Three mana for an unconditional removal spell in standard with upside is a pretty rare commodity. And lucky for us we have access to such a spell! Not only does this card answer any creature in the format, but it can also add in an extra couple points of damage to help close out the game. With cards like this floating around the format, you really need to make sure the creatures you’re playing are either very efficient, or give you some nice value when you cast them, or else you will be on the losing end of this exchange!
Next up on our list: Cut/ribbons Remember how good roast was? well its basically back with upside. This card is great on turn two, and it is still relevant in the later parts of the game. This card can even turn into a win condition later on in the game by sucker punching your opponent from the graveyard. how often do you get to a point in a game where you just have 8 mana in play and this just fireballs the opponent for 6 to the face to win the game? Probably more often then you’d think!
We’re already up to the second best removal in standard! Fatal Push While this card definitely loses some power with the lack of fetch-lands in the format, it is still a very formidable removal spell. Hitting most of the cards that see play in the format for only a single mana. Heart of Kiran’s cower in fear of this card! If there were more ways to easily turn on revolt this card would easily be the best removal spell in standard, as it stands however, it will have to take the number two spot. So, what is the best removal spell in standard?
Harnessed lightning This card was great before Amonkhet, and I feel it will be great after Amonkhet. It is a great removal spell early, costing only two mana, however it can scale up in the later parts of the game, taking out virtually any creature in the format. It is basically terminate in standard, with an easier mana cost. If you’re playing red, you should definitely be looking to play this card in your deck!
I don’t know about you guys, but after writing this article and looking up all the sweet removal available in standard, I have an urge to play some games of standard! See you guys at the tables!