Artifacts and enchantments are often the underappreciated heroes of Commander games. Ramping mana, providing utility, and changing the rules of the game to better suit their owners’ needs, it’s easy to forget that removal for these types of cards is as important as removal for dangerous creatures.
Sometimes, even more so.
When playing against decks that revolve around these types of cards, however, spot removal often feels like a game of whack-a-mole as you constantly try to hit the biggest threat.
In cases like these, and even in many regular games, the ability to remove all artifacts and/or enchantments with a single spell can be the only way to restore any semblance of parity.
Fortunately, if you’re one of the many Commander players who enjoys playing green, there are ample mass removal spells (also referred to as board wipes) that are tailor made to assist you with solving this and other specific types of problems you might come across in a multiplayer game.
How Do Green’s Best Mass Removal Spells Work?
Green’s mass removal spells almost always clear the board of artifacts, enchantments, or creatures with flying, with significantly more emphasis placed on the removal of enchantments and flying creatures.
As with most pools of cards spanning Magic: The Gathering‘s (MTG) entire history, there are going to be exceptions to this rule of thumb, but they are considerably rarer than similar subjects involving the color pie.
This isn’t especially surprising – green is a color that emphasizes life, growth, and nature. It’s only natural that the color most famous for ramping lands and interacting with creatures also directs its wrath to unnatural objects like artifacts or modifications created by enchantments.
The downside? Board wipes are conventionally used to describe mass creature removal. Green is virtually incapable of destroying non-fliers en masse without turning to another color or finding a colorless solution, making it the worst color for conventional board wipes by far.
Despite this, we’re still going to look at what options you do have, and while individual entries will be loosely ranked from worst to best, there will be plenty of situational board wipes that you may find to be a perfect fit for your needs.
Color Hosers (Tsunami)
Green had a strange affinity for land destruction in its early years, frequently showing up on spot removal spells like Ice Storm, Thermokarst, and Winter’s Grasp. While each of these can be pretty potent, no land destruction spell in green’s repertoire was nearly as destructive as Tsunami for many years.
Absolutely devastating for mono blue players and annoying for those of us who enjoy playing dual lands, Shock lands, and Triomes, Tsunami is ruthlessly efficient at what it does for 4 mana. While not seen quite as often as Boil or Boiling Seas, it’s still just as capable of outright kicking specific Commander decks out of the game.
Enchantment Board Wipes (Calming Verse, Essence Filter, Primeval Light, Reverent Silence)
Narrowing down the sheer number of enchantment board wipes in green’s arsenal to the best 4 was incredibly difficult – there are that many excellent ones to choose from. Honorary mention to Multani’s Decree, which was the final cut, but still a very solid pick as gaining 2 life for every destroyed enchantment adds up very quickly.
Calming Verse is basically the enchantment version of Vandalblast, a card that has seen extensive Commander play for years. One-sided board wipes are almost always the best kind, and while you can’t have any untapped lands on the turn you want to take advantage of this, this isn’t a big deal if you’re down to your last 4 mana or have mana rocks on hand.
Essence Filter gives you a slightly different way to choose which enchantments are destroyed. Whether you’re playing a multicolor deck or simply want to keep your opponent’s Mystic Barrier in play, there are a lot of odd scenarios that can be improved by keeping specific enchantments on the battlefield. And if not, you can still destroy all of them for the same 3 mana.
Primeval Light does this in a slightly different way, as it just picks a single player to take all enchantments away from. This is a great pick if you like to navigate table politics, as you can usually take out several problematic cards without necessarily drawing the ire of the whole table or kicking the person who’s behind while they’re down.
Reverent Silence is probably my favorite among these though. giving each opponent 6 life so you can cast this card for free is a laughably cheap price of admission, and free spells are always powerful because they buck the mana curve.
As weak as Masques block was compared to most others (especially coming off the heels of Urza block and its combos), cards like Reverent Silence and Calming Verse show it’s worth looking at every card, even in poorly perceived sets, as there can still be some real gems among the chaff.
Artifact Board Wipes (Creeping Corrosion, Seeds of Innocence)
I’ll be honest – I thought there’d be more board wipes that strictly target artifacts to talk about in green – especially after how few there were for red. Creeping Corrosion and Seeds of Innocence are it though, and while neither is bad, neither is especially great either.
Don’t get me wrong, Shatterstorm coming to green was great when Mirrodin Besieged came out, and I played this card a fair bit in Commander’s early years. Eventually, however, I found it just didn’t do quite as much as I wanted in every game. In the games where it was good, it was really good, as it blew artifact decks out of the water.
As those started to disappear from my local circles, however, so too did this card from my decks, as hitting mana rocks and the occasional utility artifact just isn’t very impactful in many games.
Seeds of Innocence is also just the better artifact board wipe if you’re making a meta call and only have 1 free space in your deck. Life gain really isn’t that powerful in a format where everyone starts with 40 life, and the difference between 3 and 4 mana is often huge, making this an excellent tradeoff (and a bit of consolation if you hit something of yours in the process).
Board Clears that Destroy Multiple Permanent Types (Bane of Progress, Fade From History, Rampage of the Clans, Wave of Vitriol)
Again, I really expected to have more of these to talk about, but even against card types it routinely obliterates with spot removal, green just doesn’t get that many mass removal spells compared to the other colors in Magic.
Bane of Progress is the card in this group (and honestly, the entire article) that sees the most play today. A 6 mana 2/2 is normally an awful rate, but nuking all artifacts and enchantments, then getting a +1/+1 counter for each adds up extremely fast. This is a great creature for reanimator decks, blink decks, or even as a standalone addition to any deck running green.
If 6 mana is a little more than you’re hoping to pay for a board wipe, Fade From History might be more your speed – especially if you’re already playing a token focused strategy. Board wipes that hit all artifacts and enchantments are relatively few and far between in green, so while turning them into 2/2s isn’t always convenient, it’s often far better than doing nothing.
I appreciate what Rampage of the Clans is trying to do – a mass Beast Within that also works at instant speed can be a devastating surprise against certain decks, buying you a turn to figure out how to deal with a bunch of 3/3s instead of an infinite combo.
Regrettably, Beast Within is the type of card that doesn’t scale very well when dealing with a large number of permanents – it’s easy to trade one problem for another if you don’t destroy enough of your own artifacts and enchantments to block opposing Centaurs.
Beast Within also has the flexibility of hitting any permanent, and while I definitely understand not wanting to give green an instant speed board wipe for all permanents, I feel like this card would have seen more play if it also hit nonbasic lands.
Which brings us to Wave of Vitriol. While fringe playable at the time of its release with Commander 2014, the format has sped up considerably in the last several years. If I’m playing a 7 mana board wipe these days, it’s because I don’t have other options, and I’m going to be looking at cards like All is Dust long before considering Wave of Vitriol.
Ezuri’s Predation is 1 of exactly 2 mono green board wipes that can be addressed “to whom it may concern” rather than just flying creatures. 8 mana will generate a 4/4 Beast creature token for every creature your opponents control, then each of your Beasts will fight a different one of those creatures.
As with Wave of Vitriol, the idea of paying 8 mana for a board wipe is fairly repulsive, especially since at face value it’s only going to get all creatures with 4 toughness or less.
Unlike Wave of Vitriol, however, Ezuri’s Predation can also serve as a potential win condition, especially if you generate additional tokens through Doubling Season or buff your Beasts with cards like Muraganda Petroglyphs.
Naturally, these sorts of shenanigans are easiest to accomplish in a token deck, but any go-wide strategy can reasonably use Ezuri’s Predation to create an instant board, sweep away weaker opposing creatures, and move toward closing the game.
Ironically, this board wipe is also the perfect answer to those same token decks and go-wide strategies, as it’s rare to be staring down an army of tokens with more than 4 toughness.
The Great Aurora
The Great Aurora is such a bizarre Magic card. Admittedly, I was among the majority who saw this Warp World knockoff and dismissed it as a bad bulk mythic during Magic Origins, but having seen what a Standard deck could do with it locally, this is another one of those board wipes that can easily be a finisher in the right Commander deck.
This board wipe thrives in a board state where you have access to more cards in play and in your hand than everyone else, and/or are playing a lot of lands in your deck. Maybe you played a ton of mana ramp spells, generated a bunch of tokens that can’t punch through whatever else is on the board, or are simply following up on someone else’s board wipe.
Then you play The Great Aurora, watch as everyone draws maybe half of the lands they had beforehand, then dump a ton of lands on the battlefield to get far, far ahead of the rest of the table. Repeat with cards like Riftsweeper or Pull From Eternity as necessary.
It’s not quite Armageddon, Decree of Annihilation, or even Obliterate, but the potential upside is so much more one-sided if you build your deck in a way that can fully take advantage of The Great Aurora‘s unique reset effect. While 9 mana is definitely a steep ask, in this case, it’s actually a pretty fair one for what you get.
Okay, I know Katabatic Winds doesn’t have the words “destroy”, “exile”, or “sacrifice” on it, but hear me out. This enchantment singlehandedly renders any flying creature absolutely worthless for as long as it’s in play. Sure, they’re still on the board, but with no ability to attack, block, or activate abilities, they might as well not be in most cases.
It’s a stretch, but I’d say that qualifies Katabatic Winds as a pseudo board wipe. It also costs way less than any of the “X” spells like Hurricane or Arashi, the Sky Asunder when comparing the potential benefits you receive, and doesn’t take multiple turns to set up like Silklash Spider or Skyreaping.
While it does have phasing, meaning you’re still going to have to deal with opposing fliers every other turn, Katabatic Winds has won me a lot of games by performing its strange impression of a board wipe. Some just by clearing the way for me to attack for lethal during the turn I play the enchantment, others by halving damage over time.
Just be mindful of triggered abilities, as they are still fair game while Katabatic Winds is in play. Great for you if you’re able to take advantage of them, but if your opponents like playing creatures like Niv-Mizzet (Parun, Reborn, or the Firemind), you’re going to want a board wipe that can actually take these problematic cards off the battlefield instead.
Speak of the devil! I actually didn’t know Whiptongue Hydra existed prior to writing this article, and that’s a genuine shame. This is a card that reminds me a lot of Bane of Progress for all the best reasons, and since it has reach, it can also be an excellent blocker for fliers that hit the battlefield after this card clears the previous ones away.
Whiptongue Hydra also starts as a 4/4 rather than a 2/2, so it won’t take much for this creature to become a serious threat once it comes down. Flickering it is a good way to keep fliers off the battlefield indefinitely, and since it doesn’t target, it’s a great answer to Lightning Greaves and popular commanders that can protect themselves like Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm.
If you came here looking for a 4 mana board wipe like Wrath of God, this is as close as you’re going to get in green. All creatures with flying are destroyed, without qualifiers or having to worry about a pump spell when playing a card like Tornado Elemental or Nylea’s Intervention.
Weirdly, this card doesn’t have the “no regeneration” clause attached to it like many cards of its era. Granted, we don’t see a lot of new cards with regeneration these days, so it’s kind of a moot point, but it was an interesting way to snub green’s ability to board wipe in the 90s while giving it one of the most powerful and cost effective board wipes it has ever seen.
Are Green Board Wipes Good in Commander?
Generally speaking, no. Don’t get me wrong, you will be hard pressed to find better board wipes for enchantments in other colors, and cards like Bane of Progress, Whiptongue Hydra, and Whirlwind are all pretty strong. Heck, I’ll even concede that any other card in this article is playable.
Unfortunately, there’s just no getting around the fact that every other color is just generally better at board wiping than green when it comes to creatures, and ultimately, that’s what most people are trying to clear when playing a board wipe. Even colorless has some better options!
How Many Board Wipes Should I Have in Commander?
While there’s not going to be a set answer for every deck, I’ve personally found that 4-5 is a good minimum for most decks I play in Commander, though if you play a deck that doesn’t use a lot of creatures, you could easily find yourself playing more than 10.
Mono green decks are often going to have a harder time meeting this minimum because there just aren’t that many board wipes available to them that destroy, sacrifice, or exile all creatures. Heck, The Great Aurora simply shuffles them back into their owners’ libraries.
I recommend looking at colorless options to help shore things up for these decks. While cards like All is Dust, Oblivion Stone, and Perilous Vault do cost a lot of mana to use, green’s mana ramp options are more than up to the task of ensuring you have enough mana when you need these spells.
From there, do some playtesting and see what works and what doesn’t. There’s no substitute for actually playing your cards and seeing how well they work in games of MTG, and there’s no scientific method that’s as fun either!
Other MTG Articles You Might Enjoy
- Commander’s Best Red Board Wipes MTG
- Best MTG Blink EDH Commanders
- Best ETB Commanders to Flicker
- Reanimation EDH Commanders
- Best Green Ramp Spells EDH
- Token Deck EDH Commanders
Braden is a founder of Assorted Meeples and has been a gamer & writer with a vivid imagination all his life. Don’t believe us? Check out his excitement when meeting Goosebumps author R.L. Stine as a kid! An avid Magic: The Gathering spellslinger for over 15 years, you can always convince him to shuffle up for a game (or three!) of Commander.