Toxic Deluge - Illustration by Svetlin Velinov

Toxic Deluge | Illustration by Svetlin Velinov

One of the fundamentals of Magic is deckbuilding. It has to be one of the most fun parts of the game, but removal effects are essential to keep in mind as a part of this process. Your opponents try to kill you with their permanents, and you need to have a way to answer them.

Some prefer addressing the issue one by one, and others like to do it in one swing. Which is why today I’m going over the best board wipes in black.

Want to know which ones are the most popular? Let’s find out!

What Are Black Board Wipes in MTG?

Damnation - Illustration by Seb McKinnon

Damnation | Illustration by Seb McKinnon

Black board wipes are spells that are usually instants or sorceries that clear the board of creatures and other permanents. Black has multiple ways to do this and while the most popular effects are “destroy” based, some others deal damage or just give -X/-X to all creatures.

#70. Last Laugh

Last Laugh

Last Laugh is a weird board wipe. It requires some sort of sacrifice outlet to trigger it properly, and you always want to have a creature to stay alive. I mention sacrifice outlets so you can manipulate how much damage you deal per turn with this.

#69. Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Apocalypse isn’t the most effective board wipe, but it synergizes perfectly in zombie tribal decks. Destroying all humans is also lovely!

#68. Dakmor Plague + Famine

Dakmor PlagueFamine

I imagine that dealing three damage to each creature was a big deal back in the day. Nowadays it seems a bit expensive for five mana, but Dakmor Plague and Famine are still solid options that are worth mentioning.

#67. Dry Spell

Dry Spell

If you want to deal with small creatures and have a cheap efficient way to deal with them, especially if they’re tokens, Dry Spell is an all right way to do so.

#66. Sickening Dreams

Sickening Dreams

This weird card can potentially go well in some madness-themed decks. I say “some” because Sickening Dreams isn’t necessarily good if you aim to cast your creatures with it since they resolve first. The damage resolves after that, but I can see some good interactions happening if you pair it with the likes of Fiery Temper.

#65. Noxious Field

Noxious Field

I like Noxious Field because it’s a hard-to-deal-with way to assure a fixed amount of damage per turn. It may not be much, but it can make combats tricky.

#64. Psychotic Haze

Psychotic Haze

Psychotic Haze‘s big appeal is that you can fire it at any time at instant speed, and you can continuously cycle it for another card if it’s irrelevant during your game.

#63. Hythonia the Cruel

Hythonia the Cruel

14 mana is a lot to commit to for a board wipe, but Hythonia the Cruel is an excellent consideration if you plan to spread this cost over multiple turns.

#62. Phyrexian Scriptures

Phyrexian Scriptures

Phyrexian Scriptures is an okay board wipe because your opponents will see it coming and can find ways to deal with it. It’s still unique in killing non-artifact creatures and can work in artifact creature decks.

#61. Force of Despair

Force of Despair

Force of Despair is a card that you’ll only be able to get the most of during your opponent’s turns because it’s not likely that creatures enter on their side of the battlefield during your turns.

#60. Do or Die

Do or Die

Do or Die may not be the best board wipe ever created, but it’s still okay at two mana.

#59. Dread Cacodemon

Dread Cacodemon

Board wipes in the form of permanents are hard to find, but Dread Cacodemon is one of them. The only downside I see with this is that it’s hard to cast and you can’t cheat it onto the battlefield with a reanimation spell.

#58. Reiver Demon

Reiver Demon

Reiver Demon is another board wipe with legs. Like Dread Cacodemon, its ability only happens if you cast it from your hand.

#57. Endemic Plague

Endemic Plague

I see Endemic Plague as a narrow sideboard card, or possibly a main deck one in dedicated steal and sacrifice decks that struggle against tribal strategies.

#56. Extinction

Extinction

Extinction is like Endemic Plague but better because you don’t have to sacrifice any creatures to destroy the creature type you want.

#55. Forced March

Forced March

Forced March might be expensive or cheap depending on the situation since you can theoretically kill every token without a mana cost for just three mana. But you have to invest more mana into it if you plan to kill something more significant.

#54. Hellfire

Hellfire

If you’re looking for one-sided board wipes while running a mono-black deck, Hellfire is an excellent card. But you’ll need to watch out if the number of creatures destroyed is bigger than your life total.

#53. Kindred Dominance

Kindred Dominance

Kindred Dominance is the counterpart of Extinction. It destroys all creatures that aren’t of a chosen type, which makes it perfect for tribal decks.

#52. Necromantic Selection

Necromantic Selection

If clearing the board of creatures wasn’t enough, Necromantic Selection also lets you choose a creature that died to it to return to your side of the battlefield.

#51. Dregs of Sorrow

Dregs of Sorrow

You’ll need to invest a lot of mana to get the most out of Dregs of Sorrow, but destroying up to 10 creatures and drawing the same number of cards is the dream.

#50. Overwhelming Forces

Overwhelming Forces

The only downside to Overwhelming Forces is its casting cost because this has gotta be one of the best wrath effects ever printed otherwise.

#49. Deadly Tempest

Deadly Tempest

Deadly Tempest punishes any player that wanted to go over the top by creating an excessive number of creatures. If you build your deck with almost no creatures to assume the control role, this is the card you’re looking for.

#48. Deadly Vanity

Deadly Vanity

Deadly Vanity is the backside of Selfless Glyphweaver. It’s a great board wipe since it deals with planeswalkers. Make sure you have at least one creature to choose from your board or you’ll have to choose one from your opponents.

The sweet thing is that you can play its frontside for free with Bring to Light.

#47. Consume the Meek

Consume the Meek

Instant-speed board wipes are hard to find, and that’s exactly what Consume the Meek is. It may limit the number of things you can kill with it but is still a fine choice to stabilize and make a solid comeback.

#46. Crux of Fate

Crux of Fate

If you’re looking for a one-sided board wipe for your dragon tribal deck, look no further. Crux of Fate fills that role. Just remember to choose the right mode if you’re playing on MTGA or MTGO.

#45. Ritual of Soot

Ritual of Soot

Ritual of Soot is a much weaker Consume the Meek in some ways because you can’t use it at instant speed. But it’s easier to cast on the other hand.

#44. Season of the Witch

Season of the Witch

I like Season of the Witch as a pseudo-board wipe for creatures that didn’t engage in combat this turn but could’ve. It forces attacks and is perfect for control decks.

#43. Ichor Explosion

Ichor Explosion

Ichor Explosion is undoubtedly one of the worst board wipes ever printed. It’s not only pricey but also requires you to sacrifice a creature in the process, meaning that it’s not the top-deckable wipe you want in most situations.

#42. Hideous Laughter

Hideous Laughter

There’s not much to be said about Hideous Laughter. You’ll rarely pay the Splice onto Arcane cost and it’s already a bit pricey to only give -2/-2 to all creatures.

#41. Outbreak

Outbreak

When I first read Outbreak it looked like it was a weird one. I thought you had to discard a creature card to give -1/-1 to all creatures to share that card type. It turns out it’s way better, but -1/-1 may not be enough unless you’re trying to target specific decks.

#40. Rising Miasma

Rising Miasma

It’s funny how Rising Miasma is decent as a board wipe but way too expensive to pay seven mana. I still think this was okay in Limited formats.

#39. Mephitic Vapors

Mephitic Vapors

Mephitic Vapors is a good board wipe for the little creatures. It also allows you to look at the top of your library in time to craft your upcoming turns.

#38. Death’s-Head Buzzard

Death's-Head Buzzard

It’s hard to believe that the -1/-1 effects are board wipes, but Death’s-Head Buzzard can become very effective in formats like Pauper.

#37. Curse of Death’s Hold

Curse of Death's Hold

Curse of Death’s Hold can act as a pseudo-board wipe against some decks, especially token lists.

#36. Night of Souls’ Betrayal

Night of Souls' Betrayal

Night of Souls’ Betrayal is like Curse of Death’s Hold with some significant differences. It’s cheaper, but it also affects your creatures.

#35. Nausea + Shrivel

NauseaShrivel

Nausea and Shrivel are Pauper board wipes just like Death’s-Head Buzzard except they’re cheaper, and you get the effect immediately.

#34. Kaervek, the Spiteful

Kaervek, the Spiteful

Kaervek, the Spiteful acts as a one-sided board wipe mostly against tribal decks like elves.

#33. Engineered Plague

Engineered Plague

Engineered Plague was one of the preferred sideboard cards against elf decks in Legacy for a while.

#32. Bane of the Living

Bane of the Living

Bane of the Living is a bit expensive to pull off but you can surprise players by unexpectedly morphing a Bane of the Living post-combat, or when the situation needs it.

#31. Biting Rain

Biting Rain

Biting Rain is a bit expensive considering there are better board wipes that can shrink by four or five for each creature. The catch with this one is that you can do it at an instant speed if you trigger madness with it.

#30. Yahenni’s Expertise

Yahenni's Expertise

The best-case scenario for Yahenni’s Expertise is to clear the board and put a creature in play right after for just five mana.

#29. Infest (and similar cards)

Infest

Multiple effects give creatures -2/-2 for three mana. Infest was one of the first that started it all and was followed by many others with the same mana cost but minimally better because they added little extra value. Some of them are:

#28. Cloudkill

Cloudkill

What I like about Cloudkill is that it almost guarantees killing everything on the board. It may not kill an Eldrazi, but sometimes the -X/-X effect is better than the destroy one against creatures with indestructibility.

#27. Evincar’s Justice

Evincar's Justice

Evincar’s Justice is like Dry Spell except it costs double the price and you can cast it multiple times during the same game, even the same turn.

#26. Crypt Rats

Crypt Rats

 Crypt Rats is a Pauper staple as one of the few board wipes in the format. The good part about this card is that if you give it lifelink to it and there are multiple creatures in play you gain life equal to the damage dealt to each creature.

#25. Extinguish All Hope

Extinguish All Hope

Extinguish All Hope is a card I like in Enchantress decks or decks with a high density of enchantments.

#24. Decree of Pain

Decree of Pain

Decree of Pain is a flexible board wipe that can be cast at instant speed if you cycle it. While the impact might be less you can still accomplish your feats in the right spots.

#23. Demon of Dark Schemes

Demon of Dark Schemes

Demon of Dark Schemes is a fine creature on its own as a 5/5 flier. It’s hard to deal with. But if you pair it with the possibility of clearing the board when it enters the battlefield you have one of the creatures that wreaked havoc when it was legal in Limited sets at your disposal.

#22. Havoc Demon

Havoc Demon

Unlike the other board wipes with legs that I’ve mentioned so far, Havoc Demon’s ability only triggers when it dies, making combats a nightmare.

#21. Kagemaro, First to Suffer

Kagemaro, First to Suffer

Kagemaro, First to Suffer is a weird card, but being a creature gives you the ability to play it multiple times during a match if you happen to run some sort of recursion on your deck since its ability isn’t tied to being cast from the hand.

#20. Plague Wind

Plague Wind

Plague Wind is a simple, effective, and expensive one-sided board wipe. Not much else to be said here.

#19. In Garruk’s Wake

In Garruk's Wake

In Garruk’s Wake is the slightly upgraded version of Plague Wind. Same mana cost, but it also gets rid of planeswalkers.

#18. Rain of Daggers

Rain of Daggers

Speaking of cards that look alike, Rain of Daggers is one mana cheaper than Plague Wind and In Garruk’s Wake, but you need to pay two life for each creature destroyed.

#17. Life’s Finale

Life's Finale

I like Life’s Finale because you wipe the board and look at your opponent’s library. From there you can gather information on what cards they may have in their hand and, more importantly, get rid of some annoying creatures they may have in their library.

#16. Nature’s Ruin + Perish + Virtue’s Ruin

Some board wipes destroy creatures based on their colors. Nature’s Ruin and Perish both destroy all green creatures while Virtue’s Ruin takes care of the white ones.

#15. Reign of Terror

Reign of Terror

You can choose to destroy either white or green creatures with Reign of Terror, which makes it a one-sided board wipe if your deck doesn’t run any of those colors or your creatures just don’t share them.

#14. Path of Peril

Path of Peril

The flexibility on Path of Peril is surprisingly good. It kills cheap stuff and acts as any other standard board wipe with a little more investment.

#13. Blood on the Snow

Blood on the Snow

Playing snow lands may be a bit difficult, but you can clear the board and still have the most powerful creature or planeswalker on your side of the field if you’re willing to pay Blood on the Snow‘s price (literally).

#12. Bontu’s Last Reckoning

Bontu's Last Reckoning

If you manage to pay for Bontu’s Last Reckoning’s mana cost with something other than lands, you’ll have one of the better board wipes out there on your hands. It’s just a cheap way to clear the board.

#11. Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter reads “creatures get -3/-3 by turn 3” in a dedicated deck.

#10. Feast of Succession

Feast of Succession

Clearing the board is one thing, but doing that and getting a one-sided Howling Mine that favors you makes Feast of Succession worth looking at.

#9. Planar Despair

Planar Despair

The best scenario for Planar Despair is to have all basic land types in play and give 5/5 to the bard for just four mana. This may be a little difficult to accomplish, but is somewhat easy to do nowadays where Triomes and New Capenna Tri-lands are prevalent.

#8. Drag to the Bottom

Drag to the Bottom

Drag to the Bottom is Planar Despair but one mana cheaper.

#7. Languish

Languish

Languish is one of the best board wipes I’ve ever seen. But it may be less prevalent in the future if they keep printing somewhat cheap creatures with five toughness like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.

#6. Noxious Ghoul

Noxious Ghoul

Noxious Ghoul is another example of the various one-sided board wipes for tribal decks. This one is for zombies. The more you play each turn, the greater its effect is.

#5. Massacre

Massacre

As I may have mentioned already, four mana to give -2/-2 to all creatures is a bit expensive. But Massacre may be a turn 1 board wipe against the right decks running white if needed.

#4. Mutilate

Mutilate

Mutilate can act as the best board wipe ever printed depending on the deck, especially if you pair it with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

#3. Blood Money

Blood Money

As its name implies, Blood Money gives you Treasure tokens for each creature that it kills.

#2. Damnation

Damnation

From my point of view Damnation is by far one of the best board wipes of all time. It’s cheap, elegant, and your opponent’s creature can’t save themselves with regeneration.

#1. Toxic Deluge

Toxic Deluge

Toxic Deluge has to be the best board wipe ever printed, especially in formats where the life total starts above 20.

Wrap Up

Dead of Winter - Illustration by Zack Stella

Dead of Winter | Illustration by Zack Stella

As you may have seen there are tons of board wipes in black. It’s the color with the most variety of ways to kill multiple creatures. Some may be straight better than others, and some are the best according to their format, but there’s undoubtedly a vast selection of them in this color.

Did you like the list? Were there any black board wipes I may have missed that you like? Please let me know in the comments or over on the Draftsim Twitter.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Thanks for hanging out and have a great day!

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