Oblivion Ring (Knights s Dragons) - Illustration by Chuck Lukacs

Oblivion Ring (Knights s Dragons) | Illustration by Chuck Lukacs

There are tons of mechanics and keywords in Magic that we see time and time again. Oblivion Ring effects, sometimes called O-Ring effects, are one of the most prevalent ones that haven’t gotten an official keyword just yet.

Today I’ll be ranking the best O-Ring effects from worst to best in each color, answering a few questions about them, and explaining just how they work. Let’s dive into it!

What Are Oblivion Ring Effects in MTG?

Ixalan's Binding - Illustration by Chase Stone

Ixalan's Binding | Illustration by Chase Stone

O-Rings, which get their name from the famous Oblivion Ring, are enchantments that exile or phase a creature out until they leave the battlefield. It’s a simple yet powerful effect that’s commonly included across Standard-legal sets to provide slower removal for Limited.

Each different O-Ring works off the base model of a 3-mana enchantment. Some cost more but give extra or more wide-reaching effects while others cost less and have more restrictive targeting or casting costs. Those that are cheaper or stick to the 3-mana cost but give extra effects are typically the best.

Best White O-Ring Effects

#22. Faith Unbroken

Faith Unbroken

Starting off in white is Faith Unbroken, a 4-mana O-Ring that actually enchants a creature you control, giving it +2/+2 on top of acting as a creature-only O-Ring.

This offers a unique design and is a cool way to build on the classic card, but I don’t think it’s too good.

#21. Quarantine Field

Quarantine Field

Quarantine Field goes wide with a mana cost of . It comes in with X counters and hits that many nonland permanents until it leaves the battlefield itself. I like that this exists, and a great way to see just how powerful an effect can be is to give it an infinite ceiling through X costs. O-Ring effects just don’t hold up in this way overall, and I don’t think this card is all too great.

Maybe it has some potential in Commander where you’re most likely to have enough targets to get a low average cost-per-exile, but that’s it.

#20. Ixalan’s Binding

Ixalan's Binding

Ixalan's Binding just isn’t that great. Additional cost for a not-so-great effect. Odds are you’re playing this in Commander, and that effect is just dead.

#19. Journey to Nowhere

Journey to Nowhere

I like Journey to Nowhere, but you need a little bit more out of this for the downside of only hitting creatures.

#18. Parallax Wave

Parallax Wave

Parallax Wave is a sticky one for the fact that it has great combo potential (which I’m not going into since it’s actually somewhat complicated and lengthy), but it’s pretty bad outside of that. You’re probably not here to learn about other O-Ring effects if you’re going to be playing it, so I’m going to place it here.

#17. Citizen’s Arrest

Citizen's Arrest

Citizen's Arrest is just a straight downgrade.

#16. Stasis Snare

Stasis Snare

Stasis Snare is up next as a 3-mana O-Ring with flash. It’s an upgrade from the base Oblivion Ring in that regard, but again, it only targets creatures.

I like these effects specifically because they hit just about everything, so this one is a no-go.

#15. Thopter Arrest

Thopter Arrest

Thopter Arrest is just Oblivion Ring with more restrictive targeting. You’re not here for this.

#14. Suspension Field

Suspension Field

Suspension Field drops the cost down to two mana but then restricts you to only creatures with three or less toughness. That’s pretty bad, but at least it’s cheap!

#13. Seal Away

Seal Away

Seal Away is our first one at two mana, but it comes with a serious drawback you’re only able to target a creature. Two mana and flash is great, believe me, but these effects aren’t permanent thanks to the nature of O-Ring effects, and the best way to balance that out is being able to target anything.

#12. Banishment


Banishment brings together flash and the all-targeting power you’re after, but it comes at a price: one colorless mana. This may or may not be too much of a cost to pay depending on the power level of your playgroup.

I think it’s decent, but there are better things out there.

#11. Prayer of Binding

Prayer of Binding

Prayer of Binding is another 4-mana O-Ring, but this one comes with flash and gains you two life in the process. And it doesn’t force you to target creatures or some other specific permanent only.

I still like the default Oblivion Ring over this.

#10. Oblivion Ring + Banishing Light + Borrowed Time

Here’s where the namesake Oblivion Ring and other identical cards like Banishing Light and Borrowed Time lie. Everything before this was worse, and everything after is better.

White weenie decks that go wide but can sink some mana into this to get rid of a problem here and there seems to be worth it.

#9. Prison Realm

Prison Realm

Prison Realm is an Oblivion Ring that only hits creatures and planeswalkers, but it scries 1 when it enters. I’m normally not a fan of these less-general targeting effects, but creatures and planeswalkers are going to be the most common targets for these, and I really assign a lot of value to card-advantage effects like scry.

#8. On Thin Ice + Chained to The Rocks

On Thin IceChained to The Rocks

Next up is both On Thin Ice and Chained to The Rocks. These are both 1-mana O-Ring effects, which is great, but they only hit creatures and you need a specific kind of land to actually chain them too.

I think these are neat, and I love the flavor on Chained to The Rocks.

#7. Cast Out

Cast Out

Cast Out costs one more but comes in with flash and can always be cycled for one white, which really carries it. I like the card advantage aspect if you don’t have anything to target, but the best part is that you’ll always have something.

#6. Temporary Lockdown

Temporary Lockdown

Next up is Temporary Lockdown, which hits every nonland permanent with a mana value of two or less. That’s a really, really strong effect for three mana and somewhat resembles Pyroclasm, which is never bad.

#5. Consulate Crackdown

Consulate Crackdown

Starting off the top five is Consulate Crackdown, a 5-mana enchantment that hits all artifacts your opponent’s control. It’s sort of expensive, but boy will it totally run artifact decks over and leave nothing behind.

Sure, it’s not a permanent effect and all of those artifacts will be looming over your head throughout the entire game, but this is pretty good for an O-Ring effect!

#4. Out of Time

Out of Time

Out of Time is a 3-mana enchantment that untaps and phases out every creature when it enters. It works off time counters, meaning you’re going to lose this immediately the next turn, but a total board wipe on three mana that gives you time to mess around with some other combo or strategy works for me.

#3. Conclave Tribunal

Conclave Tribunal

The next O-Ring effect is Conclave Tribunal, a 4-mana O-Ring effect with convoke.

The standard effect from Oblivion Ring is still really, really good, and this is just a strict upgrade on that original design. It doesn’t mess around with board-wide effects or smaller creatures, it’s just a straight upgrade. And that’s what you’re here for.

#2. Grasp of Fate

Grasp of Fate

Grasp of Fate is where things start to get serious. This is a real step-up from the previous cards and is amazing in Commander. It takes something from each of your opponents and fits in perfectly with enchantment-based decks.

I’ve played this plenty of times and have yet to be disappointed with it. I promise that you won’t be either.

#1. Leyline Binding

Leyline Binding

Leyline Binding is a complete bomb. It has warped formats since its creation and it’s not uncommon to get this effect for just one white in the right kinds of decks. Triomes make this really easy in what would otherwise be 3- or 4-color decks, and the fact that it has flash and isn’t limited to just creatures or artifacts is great.

I was surprised to see this card be made as I thought it was completely insane then, and it’s still just as amazing now as it was when it was first printed.

Best Blue O-Ring Effects

#5. Icy Prison

Icy Prison

Icy Prison is bad and you shouldn’t play it. Period.

#4. Parallax Tide

Parallax Tide

The other Parallax cards are all pretty bad outside of Parallax Wave. They’re usually just worse versions, and Parallax Tide is exactly that.

#3. Ashiok’s Erasure

Ashiok's Erasure

Next up is Ashiok's Erasure, a 4-mana enchantment with flash that actually exiles a spell, not a permanent. This slides onto the list as an O-Ring on a technicality since it’s almost the same effect.

It’s pretty bad in Commander, for obvious reasons, so I wouldn’t say that its worth playing.

#2. Induced Amnesia

Induced Amnesia

Induced Amnesia comes up next. It forces a player to put their hand down and get a new one. It’s a crazy effect for just three mana, but it only hits one player and might be a little tricky to get your cards back. It also forces you to draw just as many as you put down, so it’s no use on an empty hand like other wheel effects are.

#1. Day of the Dragons

Day of the Dragons

In first place for blue is Day of the Dragons. This is a massive card, especially compared to the other cards on the list.

You get a board wipe and a bunch of stronger dragons on top of it. It’s a crazy strong effect, but the problem lies in that blue doesn’t typically have creatures to actually replace with this, so you’re often just giving your opponents an upgrade in the process.

Best Black O-Ring Effects

#3. Parallax Nexus

Parallax Nexus

Parallax Nexus is the black Parallax card, and I’ll say the same about this that I did the blue one: it’s overly complicated and just not very good.

#2. Brain Maggot

Brain Maggot

Brain Maggot was a pretty damn good uncommon in Limited, but it’s just okay in Constructed formats. Nowadays it doesn’t see too much play, but I think it’s decent in black discard decks with commanders like Tinybones, Trinket Thief.

I like it overall because you still get the information that may be just as valuable even if it goes down and the player gets their card back.

#1. Oubliette


In first place for black is Oubliette. It phases things out, not exiling them, but that’s virtually the same effect. It costs three mana as well but only hits creatures.

This is absolutely a strict downgrade for white, but that makes it top-notch in black considering what it’s got to compete with. I still think that there are infinitely better things to play as removal in black.

Best Multicolored O-Ring Effect

#1. Detention Sphere

Detention Sphere

The only multicolored O-Ring is Detention Sphere. It’s one of the most commonly played ones out there, and for good reason. It hits just about any nonland permanent, but it hits everything with the same name. It’s a total upgrade in the right circumstances, and that’s great.

This obviously doesn’t have much additional impact in Commander, but you may just get lucky enough if you name something extremely common like Sol Ring.

Best O-Ring Payoffs

O-Ring effects don’t typically have much room for payoffs through other cards. I think that protecting your O-Rings so they just become pseudo-permanent effects is probably the best way to go.

Privileged Position

Privileged Position is one of the best ones out there since all O-Rings come on enchantments and making them hexproof really, really limits your opponents’ options for removing them. They’d need non-targeting removals like board wipes that also hits enchantments, and that’s pretty hard to come by.

Can You Oblivion Ring an Oblivion Ring?

Yes, you can target an Oblivion Ring with another Oblivion Ring. It’s actually a very common interaction since O-Rings are most prevalent in Limited where people play with and against them quite often.

How Does Oblivion Ring Work on Commanders?

You can either leave your commander under the Oblivion Ring when it resolves or sends it right back to the command zone since you can move your commander back whenever it would change zones.

Wrap Up

Prayer of Binding - Illustration by Wylie Beckert

Prayer of Binding | Illustration by Wylie Beckert

That wraps up my rankings and question-answering for O-Ring effects! They’re a super prevalent effect and knowing what makes them stronger or weaker is a great way to rate cards. There’s a lot of diversity in O-Ring effects, but they all have the same general qualities.

What do you think of my rankings? Are there any O-Ring effects I didn’t include that you think deserve recognition? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or over in the official Draftsim Discord.

Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!

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