Resetting the Battlefield: Discover the Top 10 best board wipes in MTG commander for each color.
If you’ve played Magic: the Gathering more than a couple of games you’ve no doubt seen a board wipe card in action. When the battlefield gets too full for someone’s liking, or they need a clear board to make their next move a player may use an instant, sorcery, artifact, or even creature to wipe the board and remove creatures, artifacts, or enchantments from play.
Board wipes are a crucial part of many Magic: The Gathering decks, especially in the Commander format where players often build up large boards of creatures. You may also hear them referred to as mass removal spells.
Board wipes come in several varieties. There are those that destroy creatures. Some deal damage to all creatures. Some kill creatures by knocking their stats down to 0/0.
Some board wipes take out all artifacts, enchantments, or both. Some Exile. Some Bounce. Some return things to hands or libraries. Some wipe out only flying creatures, some only ground. Some wipe cards out based on mana cost, and others based on power or toughness. Some allow multiple choices of what to destroy or remove.
Board wipe cards are staples in control decks of all 60 card and commander formats. A well-timed board wipe from an aggro deck may even be just what it needed to reset quickly and win the game.
While Black and White are best known for wiping the board with “wrath effects,” cards like Wrath of God and Damnation, all 5 colors have effective and different ways to complete the task. Even artifacts can be employed to get the job done in some colors that may lack such straightforward spells.
Whatever color you land on, we have your commander selection covered too. Take a look at the best black commanders, best blue commanders, best green commanders, best red commanders, best white commanders, or for something a little more off the beaten path, the best colorless commanders!
Best Board Wipes for Mono Black Commander
Mono black has several effective board wipe options. Here are ten of the top black board wipes available in the Commander format.
- Damnation: A simple, straightforward board wipe, Damnation destroys all creatures on the board for four mana, which is very efficient in terms of cost. It probably belongs in your mono black Commander deck.
- Toxic Deluge: Another highly efficient spell, Toxic Deluge has an added life cost to destroy all creatures with toughness equal to or less than the amount of life paid. This can be very flexible, allowing you to spare your own creatures if you wish.
- Decree of Pain: This card is expensive, but it destroys all creatures and then lets you draw a card for each creature destroyed this way. It can be a boon in terms of both board state and card advantage, 2 themes of black decks.
- Bontu’s Last Reckoning: This card is cheap in terms of mana cost, but it comes with a significant downside – your lands don’t untap during your next untap step. However, the ability to destroy all creatures for three mana can still be worth it in many situations.
- In Garruk’s Wake: Another expensive spell, this nine-mana sorcery only destroys creatures you don’t control, and additionally destroys all planeswalkers you don’t control, making it a potential game changer.
- Crux of Fate: This spell is particularly useful in a deck with dragons, as it allows you to choose between destroying all dragons or all non-dragons. However, even in a deck without dragons, it is still a reasonably efficient board wipe.
- Mutilate: This card is particularly effective in a mono-black deck, which can easily accumulate a lot of swamps. It gives all creatures -1/-1 until end of turn for each swamp you control. This can have a very large effect for not much mana.
- Black Sun’s Zenith: This card is similar to Mutilate, but it allows you to choose the X value. Plus, it shuffles back into your library, potentially allowing you to use it multiple times.
- Living Death: A unique kind of board wipe, Living Death simultaneously destroys all creatures on the board and brings back all creatures in the graveyards. This can lead to some very interesting situations, especially in decks that put a lot of creatures into the graveyard.
- Bane of the Living: While technically a creature, its morph ability allows it to function as a board wipe.
Best Mono Blue Board Wipe Cards for EDH Commander
Mono-blue decks in Magic: The Gathering typically don’t have as many options for traditional “destroy all creatures” board wipes as some other colors, like black or white. However, they excel in different kinds of board control with numerous cards that bounce or tap all of your opponents’ creatures. Here are ten of the top blue board control cards in the Commander format.
- Cyclonic Rift: This card is considered one of the most powerful blue cards in the Commander format. Its Overload cost allows you to bounce all nonland permanents you don’t control to their owners’ hands, effectively resetting the board.
- Evacuation: This card is a straightforward board reset, returning all creatures to their owners’ hands.
- Aetherize: Aetherize only affects attacking creatures, making it an excellent defensive tool. It can completely disrupt an opponent’s attack by returning all attacking creatures to the owner’s hand
- Devastation Tide: This Miracle card allows you to return all nonland permanents to their owners’ hands. If you draw it during your turn, you can cast it for its Miracle cost, making it a very cost-effective board wipe.
- River’s Rebuke: This card only affects a single player, but it returns all nonland permanents that player controls to their hand. This can be a significant disruption, especially in a multiplayer game.
- Whelming Wave: This spell returns all creatures to their owners’ hands except for Krakens, Leviathans, Octopuses, and Serpents. If you’re running a sea monster-themed deck, this card can act as a one-sided board wipe.
- Engulf the Shore: This card returns to their owners’ hands all creatures with toughness less than or equal to the number of Islands you control. In a mono-blue deck, this will often return all creatures.
- Kederekt Leviathan: While it’s a creature, Kederekt Leviathan has an Unearth cost that allows you to return it to the battlefield from your graveyard, then return all other nonland permanents to their owners’ hands.
- Wash Out: This card allows you to choose a color and then return all permanents of that color to their owner’s hand. In a multicolor environment like Commander, this can be quite disruptive.
- Displacement Wave: This card returns all nonland permanents with converted mana cost X or less to their owners’ hands. It can be tailored to hit specific targets based on what you choose for X.
Best Board Wipe Cards for Mono Green Commander
Mono-green decks in Magic: The Gathering don’t usually have traditional “destroy all creatures” board wipe options similar to those found in colors like white or black. Green’s strength lies in its ability to generate large amounts of mana, put down hefty creatures, and manipulate the battlefield with lands.
However, there are a few cards in green that can have a board wipe-like effect. These are typically centered around fighting mechanics or depend on the power and toughness of creatures on the battlefield, or you can employ artifacts to make up for what mono green lacks in sorceries and instants. Here are ten of the more impactful mono green options.
- Ezuri’s Predation: For each creature your opponents control, you create a 4/4 Beast creature token. Each of those Beasts fights a different one of those creatures.
- Whirlwind: This destroys all creatures with flying, a rather niche but effective tool against decks heavy with flying creatures.
- Bane of Progress: This creature destroys all artifacts and enchantments when it enters the battlefield, and gets bigger for each one destroyed. While it doesn’t affect creatures, it’s a potent board wipe against certain deck types.
- Wave of Vitriol: This card forces each player to sacrifice all artifacts, enchantments, and nonbasic lands they control, making it a useful tool against heavily artifact- or enchantment-based decks, or those that rely on complex nonbasic land strategies.
- Terastodon: This creature lets you destroy up to three non-creature permanents when it enters the battlefield. For each permanent destroyed this way, its controller creates a 3/3 green Elephant creature token.
- The Great Aurora: A nine-mana value spell. Each player shuffles all cards from their hand and all permanents they own into their library, then draws that many cards, then puts any number of land cards from among them onto the battlefield.
- Apex Altisaur: When it enters the battlefield, it fights up to one target creature you don’t control. It also fights each creature you don’t control that deals damage to it.
- Setessan Tactics: A flexible card that allows your creatures to fight others, potentially clearing your opponent’s board if your creatures are strong enough.
- Nylea’s Intervention: This flexible card can either clear the skies of flying creatures or fetch multiple lands from your deck, depending on your needs.
- Windstorm / Hurricane: These cards have similar effects, but at different speeds with Windstorm being instant and Hurricane a sorcery, and one includes damaging players. Windstorm is a versatile card that can act as a board wipe against decks heavy on flying creatures. Its effect scales with the amount of mana you have available. Hurricane is similar to Windstorm, but also deals damage to players. This card can be an effective board wipe and even a finisher in the right deck, depending on the situation and your life total.
Best Mono Red Board Wipe Cards for EDH Commander
Mono-red decks in Magic: The Gathering often excel in dealing direct damage and removing creatures via damage-based board wipes. Even if you’re playing a direct damage burn deck, it’s a good idea to work in a few of the best boardwipes red has to offer. Here are ten powerful board wipe options in red.
- Blasphemous Act: One of the most cost-effective board wipes in the game, Blasphemous Act deals 13 damage to each creature and often costs less than its nominal 9 mana due to its cost reduction mechanic.
- Chain Reaction: This card deals damage to each creature equal to the number of creatures on the battlefield. In a game of Commander with multiple opponents, this can be a very effective board wipe.
- Star of Extinction: A costly but devastating spell, Star of Extinction deals 20 damage to each creature and each planeswalker, and destroys a land. It can be tough to regularly find enough mana for this spell in mono red
- Anger of the Gods: This card deals 3 damage to each creature. It doesn’t hit as hard as some other options, but creatures dealt damage this way would be exiled instead of being put into a graveyard, which can be very useful against certain strategies.
- Magmaquake: This instant allows you to choose the amount of damage it deals to each creature without flying and each planeswalker. It can be a versatile tool in the right situation.
- Earthquake: Similar to Magmaquake, Earthquake deals X damage to each creature without flying and each player.
- Volcanic Vision: More costly than other options, but it returns a spell from your graveyard to your hand and deals damage equal to that card’s mana value to each creature your opponents control. This could potentially wipe the board and give you an advantage in spite of its high mana cost.
- Rolling Earthquake: This deals X damage to each creature without horsemanship and each player.
- Hour of Devastation: Deals 5 damage to each creature and each non-Bolas planeswalker. While not as variable as Earthquake or Magmaquake, it has the added utility of hitting planeswalkers.
- Fiery Confluence: While it doesn’t necessarily function as a full board wipe, Fiery Confluence‘s flexibility allows it to function as creature removal, artifact removal, or direct player damage as the situation demands.
Best Mono White Board Wipe Cards for EDH Commander
Mono-white decks in Magic: The Gathering have access to many powerful board wipes. Here are ten of the top board wipe cards for mono-white in the Commander format.
- Wrath of God: The classic four-mana wipe that destroys all creatures and can’t be countered by regeneration.
- Day of Judgment: Another four-mana wipe that destroys all creatures. It doesn’t stop regeneration like Wrath of God, but it’s still a reliable and cheaper alternative.
- Akroma’s Vengeance: A powerful six-mana spell that destroys all artifacts, creatures, and enchantments, and has a cycling ability for added utility.
- Martial Coup: Destroys all creatures and provides you with an army of soldiers. If you have seven or more mana, it’s both a wipe and a way to build a board presence.
- Austere Command: A highly flexible spell that lets you choose two options from a list of four, allowing you to tailor the board wipe to the current game state.
- Mass Calcify: More mana intensive, but it spares your white creatures. If you’re playing a heavy white or mono white deck, this could be a game-changer.
- Cleansing Nova: Another flexible board wipe, allowing you to destroy all creatures or all artifacts and enchantments.
- Hour of Revelation: this can be a very cost-effective wipe in a crowded board state, potentially costing only three white mana to clear all non-land permanents.
- Fumigate: Destroy all creatures and gain life equal to the number of creatures you destroyed. The life gain can be a significant advantage in Commander.
- Settle the Wreckage: While this card only affects attacking creatures, it can be a powerful surprise during combat, exiling all attacking creatures and providing the attacker with basic lands. Exile is also a path to removing Indestructible creatures, which white can have trouble doing even with it’s high volume of mass removal options.
BONUS* Best Board Wipe Cards for ARtifact and Colorless Commander
Colorless and artifact-based board wipes can be great tools in any deck, especially in Commander format, due to their flexibility and power. While they’re already on the board, most of their activated abilities can be used at instant speed. Many times adding some of these artifacts may provide the best options for certain colors to deal with powerful creatures. Here are ten colorless or artifact-based board wipe cards that can be used in most decks.
- Ugin, the Spirit Dragon: Ugin’s -X ability can act as a powerful board wipe that can bypass most protection abilities, and his +2 ability can help control the board or deal direct damage to opponents.
- Nevinyrral’s Disk: This artifact can be tapped to destroy all artifacts, creatures, and enchantments on the battlefield, providing a complete board wipe.
- Oblivion Stone: This artifact allows you to put fate counters on permanents and then destroy those without fate counters, offering a degree of selectivity in what gets destroyed.
- All Is Dust: This tribal sorcery forces each player to sacrifice all colored permanents they control, which can often act as a complete board wipe.
- Perilous Vault: This artifact exiles all nonland permanents when activated, providing a clean wipe of the board.
- Boompile: Although the effect of Boompile is determined by a coin flip, if successful, it destroys all nonland permanents.
- Coercive Portal: A slightly different form of board wipe, at the beginning of your upkeep, the table votes for either a board wipe (Carnage) or you drawing a card (Homage). If the vote is tied, you draw a card.
- Ratchet Bomb: This artifact allows you to put charge counters on it and then destroy each nonland permanent with a converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Ratchet Bomb.
- Steel Hellkite: While not a traditional board wipe, Steel Hellkite can destroy multiple permanents with the same mana cost if it deals combat damage to a player.
- Blast Zone: While it’s technically a land, Blast Zone can act as a board wipe by putting charge counters on it and then sacrificing it to destroy each nonland permanent with a converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Blast Zone.
Board Wipe Honorable Mentions
There are many effective board wipe cards that were not mentioned here, so if you don’t see exactly what you need yet, don’t fret. It may yet be out there.
Some honorable mentions that didn’t make the list are:
- Black – Life’s Finale
- Black – Infest
- Blue – Upheaval (this is banned in Commander so your playgroup would have to approve)
- Blue – Echoing Truth
- Blue – Curse of the Swine
- Green – Squall Line
- Green – Silklash Spider
- Red – Pyroclasm / Volcanic Fallout
- Red – Starstorm
- White – Mageta the Lion (which coincidentally can be your commander)
- White – Rout
- White – Hour of Reckoning
- White – Tragic Arrogance
- White – Phyrexian Rebirth
- White – Planar Cleansing
Double Bonus! – White – Once More with Feeling – If your playgroup or pod allows the occasional U cards, this can be a fun reset of everything. It is a very unique card from the Unglued set, a specialty set in Magic: The Gathering that is meant to be more humorous and unconventional. The card effect is powerful, as it essentially resets the entire board and the game, exiling all permanents and all cards in graveyards, shuffling all cards in hands back into libraries, then allowing players to start a new game with the remaining cards in their libraries.
Thank you for taking the time to peruse the entire list! If you have a favorite that I missed, please leave a comment with the card name and why you’d swap it for something in that color’s list above.
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Photo by Franklin Peña Gutierrez: https://www.pexels.com/photo/con-el-agua-hasta-el-cuello-14000785/