Last updated on November 3, 2023
Soul of New Phyrexia | Illustration by Daarken
Hello planeswalkers, I hope you're having a peaceful day!
Today I'm not focusing on massive damage and filling graveyards. Let's take a deep breath and prevent all the harmful damage to our lives and MTG games instead. It's time to examine the cards that prevent all damage and how they can help your builds.
These cards can have major benefits in your games. Preventing all damage can save you for another turn, protect your valuable cards, and act as a trap for an opponent. I believe preventing damage at the right moment is an overlooked skill that talented players understand. Prevent all damage cards have never been the highlights and win strategies of most decks, but they do have value.
These cards can turn the tides of battle in your favor if you use them properly. How do you do that? Let's find out!
Endure (Eventide) | Illustration by Ralph Horsley
“Prevent all damage” refers to spells that negate any damage done to all of a player’s permanents and possibly that player. There isn’t one specific build or theme that highlights preventing damage, but these cards slot into many different decks for specific purposes.
The main themes of preventing damage cards are saving your life total when you need it, protecting valuable permanents, and being a combat trick against aggressive opponents.
Best White Prevent All Damage Cards
This is a great example of a solid sideboard piece if you're struggling with a specific or couple of sources in your BO3 matches.
Endure is an aptly-named card to prevent damage. If you can endure the beginning turn assaults of your opponent then you should have a chance to trap them with this instant. It's legal in the Modern and eternal formats as a life-saving card or a combat trick that gives you board advantage.
This is a bomb instant for the eternal formats and has some great value in Commander. You may even apply both options and dominate if you control a commander!
Avacyn, Angel of Hope is an expensive creature that protects all the rest of your permanents, as well as itself. The question here is, is it worth it for my build? I think if your focus is ramping up in reanimating in white then it's definitely worth considering.
Channel Harm is an expensive instant that can instantly change the game. You can prevent all damage done to you and your permanents and then redirect the damage that would have been done to target creature, all for a whopping 6 mana.
I’m going to include Divine Deflection because it has a chance to protect all your permanents and do some damage. You can choose the X amount of damage you want to protect your permanents from and then redirect that same amount of damage to target creature or player.
This is a very playable card in many white Modern or eternal decks.
Teferi's Protection has a lot of wording that ensures all of your cards are safe from damage and destruction. You can’t lose life and have protection from everything. Your permanents also phase out, so they’ll be safe for the turn.
This card is a nice answer to board wipes. Your opponent might be willing to sacrifice their board to get rid of yours, but they’re in for a big surprise when you play Teferi's Protection. Not to mention the ETB triggers that could happen! It’s a superb card that's unfortunately only legal in the eternal and Historic formats.
This card is an excellent combat trick and way to seek a valuable card for any green Alchemy build.
How many times have you read or seen the trope of a hero saving someone at the very last possible moment? As cheesy as that can be, Heroic Intervention is a great way to protect and save your permanents.
Boros Charm is a fantastic instant spell for the Boros () enthusiasts in Pioneer, Modern, and eternal formats. The options on this card give you the versatility to do exactly what you need to gain card or board advantage.
The most important is the ability to give all your permanents indestructible when you need to protect them from board wipes. Boros Charm is a great way to give your Boros decks more options when you need them.
Best Colorless Prevent All Damage Card
#2. Maze of Ith
Maze of Ith is a Magic classic, but that doesn't make it insane. It untaps an attacking creature and prevents all damage dealt to it, but also all the damage dealt by it! That limits the maze to being a defensive piece. You're either knocking out an attacker (or blocking the attempt before it happens by holding this up), or saving an attacker of yours from a combat trick.
Soul of New Phyrexia is the colorless answer to the question, “how can I protect my permanents for multiple turns?” It gives your permanents indestructible for just five mana and can even activate from the graveyard.
This is a great card for builds that can get mana quickly or need to protect their permanents to carry out their ultimate strategy. I like the versatility of a colorless spell and believe that it has potential in lots of builds that can afford the higher mana cost.
This list is just a small look at cards that protect all of your permanents. Many other cards protect more specific things, like your creatures in combat.
Do you have any cool ideas about protecting all your fun permanents? Did I miss anything in my rankings that deserves a spot? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.
Stay safe, and keep exploring this great game of ours!
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