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Observations on Eternal Masters Removal

Let's take a look at the different kinds of removal available in Eternal Masters.

Creature Removal

Let's look at the Common/Uncommon creature removal available in Eternal Masters by color:

  • The only colorless option is Ticking Gnomes at Uncommon, and it only does one point of damage, so you have to get the removal you need from the colors you're drafting.
  • White has the usual removal Auras (Pacifism and Faith's Fetters), removal for attackers (Second Thoughts), and flicker effects (Glimmerpoint Stag), plus Kor Hookmaster and Swords to Plowshares.
  • Blue has Silent Departure and Man-o'-War but no instant-speed bounce or noncreature bounce. Instead, there's the uninspiring Stupefying Touch and Gaseous Form, the expensive Phyrexian Ingester, and Hydroblast which is a sideboard card. However, Tidal Wave is good combat-based removal and Prodigal Sorceror should have plenty of targets against every color except Blue.
  • Black's removal is split between cards than can kill one-toughness creatures and cards that don't care about the creature's toughness. The exceptions are Havoc Demon, Lys Alana Scarblade, and Toxic Deluge.
  • Red's Common/Uncommon removal deals three damage or less, so it will have a difficult time dealing with larger creatures. The only Red removal spells that deal with larger creatures are Stingscourger and sometimes Pyroblast. And since there aren't any Red cards that let you "borrow" a creature temporarily, Seismic Stomp may end up being more important in fast Red/X decks than it has historically been.
  • Green has only Roots for creature removal. There's no flyer removal or cards that let your creatures fight your opponent's creatures.
  • The only multicolor removal spell at Common or Uncommon is Zealous Persecution.

Global Creature Removal

Unsurprisingly, Eternal Masters has more global creature removal than most sets. I use global creature removal broadly to mean any spell that permanently or temporarily removes all creatures that meet a certain criteria.

  • At Common, there's Nausea, which only kills one-toughness creatures and won't usually be played maindeck, and Seismic Stomp, which prevents your opponent's creatures from blocking for a turn. I realize it's a bit of a stretch to classify Seismic Stomp as creature removal, but it's like a sorcery-speed spell that taps all your opponent's nonflyers.
  • At Uncommon, there's Zealous Persecution, which only kills creatures with one toughness, but can be a blowout, and Havoc Demon, which is expensive and has to die for the global removal effect.
  • At Rare, there're five global creature removal spells: Nevinyrral's Disk, Wrath of God, Toxic Deluge, Crater Hellion, and Void.
  • At Mythic, there's Balance.

Other than Seismic Stomp, all the Common and Uncommon global creature removal requires Black mana. At Rare, there's an option in each of the Mardu colors (White, Black, and Red), plus Void and Nevinyrral's Disk.

Artifacts, Enchantments, and Lands

There are a number of options in Eternal Masters for dealing with non-creature permanents, but few of them just destroy an artifact or enchantment outright.

In addition to these, White also has Faith's Fetters which can prevent your opponent from using an artifact's activated abilities, and Green/White has Glare of Subdual which can tap artifacts. Looking across rarities, White has the most options for dealing with artifacts and enchantments, and Green has Nature's Claim and a few Green/X multicolor spells. The only artifact or enchantment removal spells that don't require either White or Green mana are Nevinyrral's Disk, Void, and Dack Fayden, and these spells are all Rare or Mythic. Surprisingly, there is no monored artifact removal.

The only land destruction is Rare: SinkholeVindicate, and Wasteland for nonbasic lands. In addition, there's Winter Orb, which doesn't destroy lands but does reduce both player's access to mana produced by those lands. Oddly, there is also no Red land destruction in the set.

Hand and Graveyard Disruption

Black has four discard spells: Duress and Deadbridge Shaman at Common, and Cabal Therapy and Hymn to Tourach at Uncommon. In addition, Blue has Jace, the Mind Sculptor at Mythic and its ultimate ability results in your opponent losing their hand.

There are three graveyard disruption spells in the set: Relic of Progenitus and Gaea's Blessing at Uncommon, and Deathrite Shaman at Rare. These should be higher picks than usual since three of the ten archetypes in the set care about the graveyard (Green/Blue Threshold, Blue/Red Flashback/Retrace, and Blue/Black reanimator/recursion), and you're likely to want to bring these spells in against those decks.


Counterspell and Memory Lapse are Commons and are likely to be played more often than in other Limited environments given the powerful spells available. Force of Will is also likely to be played, but it's a Mythic, so you won't encounter it frequently. On the other hand, Daze, Hydroblast, and Pyroblast (the only nonblue counterspell) should usually be left in the sideboard.


Eternal Masters has a lot of removal relative to other sets, especially in Black and Red. It also has a number of very efficient removal spells, but most colors lack something that they usually have access to. Blue doesn't have instant-speed bounce or ways to bounce noncreatures. Red's Common/Uncommon removal can't kill creatures with 4+ toughness or "borrow" creatures, and doesn't have artifact removal or land destruction. Green doesn't have the usual flyer removal or fight spells. On the other hand, White has a very well-rounded suite of removal spells that includes removal auras, removal that kills attackers, temporary removal, Swords to Plowshares, global creature removal, enchantment removal, and artifact removal.

There are a number of global creature removal spells in the set, primarily in the Mardu colors, and you should try to avoid overextending into them.

Three of the ten archetypes in Eternal Masters rely on the graveyard, so Relic of Progenitus, Gaea's Blessing, and Deathrite Shaman should be higher picks than usual since are important sideboard options.

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