Farewell | Illustration by Seb McKinnon
White might not be the best color in Magic for card draw or even targeted removal, but when it comes to board wipes, white thrives. Board wipes can have a big impact on a game. They can keep you from getting too behind, give you a chance to reset the battlefield, or even win you the game if timed correctly.
When it comes to choosing board wipes in eternal formats or formats with bigger card pools like Modern, it can get a little tricky. There are a ton of white board wipes to choose from, but not all of them are going to be right for your deck.
I’ve chosen some of what I think are the best board wipes for a mono-white deck. Let’s go through why I think these are the best for your decks!
What Are Board Wipes in Magic?
Wrath of God | Illustration by Kev Walker
Board wipes are spells that destroy all cards on the battlefield of a certain card type. “Board wipe” isn’t an official card type in Magic. It’s the nickname that players have given spells that destroy all of a certain type of permanent.
They can be incredibly useful against permanents with hexproof, shroud, ward, or protection that prevents them from being targeted directly. It can also be a great way to wipe out a lot of troublesome permanents on your opponent’s side of the field, especially if they have more threats on the board than you.
Board wipes are also great inclusions for control decks that don’t put as many creatures of their own onto the battlefield.
Mass land destruction isn’t the type of board wipe that most decks want to use. But if you’re playing a land destruction deck, Armageddon is probably your best bet to destroy all lands. It’s affordable and doesn’t come with any caveats.
Planar Cleansing hits all nonland permanents, which makes it more of a true reset than other board wipes. This can be a bit of a double-edged sword because you’ll probably have some permanents of your own on the battlefield.
With more targeted board wipes you can select ones that only hit the type of permanents you won’t be relying on, but they also won’t set your opponents back as much as a full wipe does. Planar Cleansing is a little expensive, but it’s pretty standard for a lot of board wipes.
The nice thing about Austere Command is the versatility. You can pick and choose modes that are best suited to your current needs. The only downside is that it’s a little expensive if all you want to do is destroy creatures.
If you’re specifically looking for creature-hate board wipes, there are much better options. But if you want a board wipe that covers all your bases, this is a great option.
One-sided board wipes are some of the most powerful in the game. While Cleansing Meditation destroys your enchantments as well as your opponents’, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to get them right back.
This is also a huge asset for you, because you can benefit from any abilities that trigger when your enchantments re-enter the battlefield.
Fated Retribution is nice because it’s a little more selective and could be helpful in the right kind of control decks. If you’re focusing more on enchantments and artifacts over creatures and planeswalkers, this is a great option for you.
The good thing about Urza’s Ruinous Blast is also what holds it back from the top spots on this list. This can be a great way to keep your good cards on the table while taking out some threats if you’re running a lot of legendary permanents.
But if the threats on the other side of the table are also legendary, this isn’t going to help you out too much.
Akroma’s Vengeance is almost a full board wipe, hitting everything but planeswalkers. This can be a huge asset if you’re playing a superfriends deck, or a deck that revolves around a specific planeswalker.
It’s also nice to have cycling if you draw into the card and don’t need it or it’s too early in the game.
Dismantling Wave can double as targeted removal or a board wipe. This can come in handy if you just need to take out a few big threats on the board or slow down your opponents by taking out their mana rocks. While eight mana is expensive for a board wipe that just hits artifacts and enchantments, you do get to draw a card as well so it offsets it a bit.
#23. Dusk // Dawn
Decks that like to play low-to-the-ground creatures can really benefit from a board wipe like Dusk // Dawn. If you can keep a board full of tiny creatures while wiping out your opponent’s blockers, you can do a lot of damage after.
Having the Dawn side of the card is also a great way to get back some of your creatures if you need more cards to play.
White has a lot of good payoffs for lifegain, and Fumigate fits well into a lifegain deck. It has the potential to gain you a good amount of life if the board gets big, and it can help you stay in the game longer if you’re getting close to running out of life.
While you’ll have to wait at least a turn to activate Elspeth Tirel’s board wipe ability, she has a couple of other good abilities. Not only can she gain you a lot of life, she can also drop a good number of tokens for you.
This pairs well with her board wipe since you still have these tokens after. It’s also nice that Elspeth survives its own board wipe.
Its ult might be harder to activate, but it’s also a very powerful buff to your creatures.
For how much damage End Hostilities can do, it’s a reasonable mana cost. This card can be devastating against decks running equipment or totem armor because you’re robbing your opponent of reusable tools as well as their creatures.
This board wipe might be worth the one extra mana than wipes that just hit creatures if you know that you aren’t going to be running a lot of equipment.
By allowing you to select a specific creature’s power, Fell the Mighty can really help you make sure you’re keeping any permanent you want to hold onto. This is a great board wipe for white weenies or token decks.
Exiling creatures with Final Judgment can give you a big advantage over just destroying them. Not only does this make sure that those creatures won’t be coming back, you’re also able to remove creatures that have indestructible.
Everything good that can be said for Final Judgment also applies to Descend upon the Sinful. The reason Descend gets the edge is the possibility of getting a creature token and having the only creature on the board.
4-mana creature wipes in white are pretty standard, and several of them will allow players meeting a certain requirement to draw a card just like Depopulate. I chose this over the others because it’s great to include in a multicolored deck since you know it’ll likely draw you a card.
Day of Judgment is probably the simplest creature board wipe to include in a deck, in a good way. There aren’t any added stipulations and it won’t draw your opponent any cards. It just does what it does for a reasonable mana cost.
Wrath of God is basically the same as Day of Judgment with the slight benefit that it doesn’t allow creatures to be regenerated. Though regenerate isn’t that popular of a mechanic anymore, it’s still a nice addition on the off chance it matters.
Plenty of times in multiplayer formats, one player is ahead while the rest of the table is looking for a way to handle the situation. Play of the Game allows other players to help you pay for the cost of the card if you can’t yet, allowing for some good teamwork to stay in the game.
Angel of the Dire Hour can be a great way to do a one-sided board wipe. Though your opponent may be wary that you’re leaving seven mana up before they attack, there’s still a chance they’ll swing out in hopes of winning the game.
It’s also great that this exiles creatures, so it hits indestructible creatures as well.
I think that Settle the Wreckage gets the edge over Angel of the Dire Hour just because it’s so much cheaper to play. That said, you may want to go with the angel instead if you don’t want to give your opponent the added resources.
Because Slash the Ranks hits planeswalkers as well as creatures, it’s very worth the mana cost. This card can be absolutely devastating against superfriends decks. The only downside is that it doesn’t help you out if you need to remove a commander.
One downside to board wipes is that they likely leave you without a board state too. With Phyrexian Rebirth you’ll be left with a creature of your own, and potentially a very powerful one. It definitely justifies the extra mana cost by giving you such a big possible threat.
It’s also cheap to cost when you foretell it, allowing you to wipe the board cheap and probably drop another creature after.
Because Rout can be cast at instant speed, it allows you to play it at the most opportune times. You can play it on an opponent’s turn after they tap out, meaning you won’t have your spell countered and they might have cast even more creatures that turn so you’ll be setting them even further back.
It won’t take too long for there to be 10 or more permanents on the field, so Hour of Revelation is often one of the cheapest wipes on this list that also hits all nonland permanents, not just creatures. This is an especially good board wipe in multiplayer formats since there are more permanents on the field more quickly.
Offering alternate casting costs can be very helpful on cards like Sunscour. Seven mana is a high cost for a wipe, but ditching two white cards can be a very quick way to cast this spell. You also have the option to cast it for full price if you draw it later in the game and don’t mind the extra cost, so it has some nice versatility.
The versatility that Cleansing Nova allows players is great, and I always see this as a good option to include for only five mana. If you like to play at stores and not just with a personal playgroup, it’s great to have a card that can handle most types of permanents based on the situation you’re facing.
I definitely think this should be a white Commander staple.
Options are always great on a card because you know you can put it to good use in at least one way.
Farewell can be very effective in removing your opponent’s best cards while getting to hold onto your own if you have different strategies. This is also one of the few board wipes that also has graveyard hate attached.
I hope you now have a good idea of which board wipes you want to include in your next deck. All of these cards are good in some way and you might even find one lower down the list to be more helpful for your specific needs, so don’t feel like you need to grab from just the top 10.
What board wipes are your favorite? Do you have another color you prefer board wipes from? Let me know in the comments below or on Draftsim’s Twitter.
Hope you now have all the tools to wipe out the competition, and I’ll see you in the next one!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: