Daily Dose of Core 2019 – Combat tricks and Removal Cards by Color
Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Core 2019, where it's time for an important discussion for your Prerelease.
Today I’m going to help you prepare for the combat tricks and removal spells you can expect this weekend. Knowing these cards is important so that you can be prepared for the spells your opponent could cast when you make an attack.
I love having these guides since you can use them to figure out exactly what your opponent might have in their hand. You can also use this guide to bluff your opponent into thinking you might have a certain spell, although this is often more useful once players know the cards in the format. Here is a breakdown of the combat tricks and removal cards for each colour for Core 2019.
White Combat Tricks and Removal Cards
White's on the lower end when it comes to combat tricks and removal cards, but it still has some nice cards.
Cleansing Nova is the only sweeper in the format, and can be absolutely devastating if cast. This spell will win some games.
White has three combat tricks in the form if Mighty Leap, Aegis of the Heavens, and Make a Stand. They each serve their own purpose and range from two to three mana to cast. You’ll have to be weary of how all three can hurt you.
When it comes to pure removal, white has a few spells, but nothing at instant speed. Luminous Bonds is great against a creature without any activated abilities. Take Vengeance can take out any tapped creature, while Hieromancer’s Cage can get rid of almost anything on the battlefield. Most players won’t play Invoke the Divine, but some will, so be aware of it. I wouldn’t worry too much about Isolate with only 13 one-mana cost permanents in the set.
Blue Combat Tricks and Removal Cards
Blue starts off with its usual assortment of counterspells for all occasions. Two of them target creatures only, so if you are casting a noncreature spell, you only have to worry about Cancel.
As usual, blue doesn’t have any way to permanently remove anything from the battlefield, but it can move cards temporarily. Disperse and Totally Lost are ways to get a permanent off the battlefield for a turn or two. Uncomfortable Chill is a great combat trick that can change the tides in a large battle, causing all your creatures to lose power at instant speed. Dwindle can turn your large creature into a powerless creature. Switcheroo is a way for your opponent to exchange their small creature with your large creature. Lastly, Sleep is a spell to watch out for, as it can shut down all your blockers for two turns in a row.
Black Combat Tricks and Removal Cards
Black has a nice sweet of removal spells as usual. It has two card removal spells in the form of Duress and Mind Rot which could empty your hand. Nightmare’s Thirst and Abnormal Endurance can be used as combat tricks to turn the tide of combat.
Black has two clean creature removal cards in Lich’s Caress and Murder, but only Murder is at instant speed. It does have another card that acts as a situational instant removal spell with Strangling Spores. Black also has two creatures that can act at removal spells. Hired Blade can be flashed in as a 3/2 blocker at anytime. And be aware when setting up your creatures to block for an opposing Plague Mare post combat that could clear your battlefield.
Meanwhile, Infernal Reckoning is a spell you probably won’t see in many decks. With only seven colourless creatures in the set, don't expect to see it often, except maybe out of the sideboard if you have multiple targets.
Red Combat Tricks and Removal Cards
Red, by far, has the most combat tricks and removal cards in the set.
It has two combat tricks which can be used to help during combat: Trumpet Blast can pump all attacking creatures, while Sure Strike can help save one creature thanks to adding first strike. Fiery Finish, Electrify, and Spit Flame are all creature only removal spells. Lightning Strike and Shock are some instant damage spells that can hit any target if needed. Smelt and Tectonic Rift are situational removal spells, with Smelt being an instant.
Beware of Tectonic Rift, which will leave you with no blockers on the ground. Thud is a great finisher, but can only be used as a sorcery. So if you can kill off one of your opponent's large creatures, I would go for it. Lastly is Banefire, which is hard (if not impossible) to play around. It's a versatile spell that can be used at any stage of the game. Just be aware of your opponent's lands. If they have eight, you probably don't want to be at seven life or under.
Green Combat Tricks and Removal Cards
When it comes to combat tricks and removal cards, green has gotten the short end of the stick.
It starts with a couple of instant speed situational removal cards in Naturalize and Plummet. Most of the times, players will play these out of their sideboard. There is a sorcery removal spell if you have a creature on the battlefield with Rabid Bite.
Declare Dominance is a sneaky removal spell in that it can force all your opponent's creatures to block one of your large creatures, while also allowing your other attackers to get through unblocked. Reclamation Sage is a creature that can used to remove an artifact or enchantment. For instant speed combat tricks, green only has two with Root Snare and Titanic Growth, probably the best combat trick creature pump in the entire set.
There you have it folks! That's what you can expect when it comes to combat tricks and removal cards for each colour in Core 2019. Hopefully this guide will prepare you for what spells your opponent might have up their sleeve this weekend.
Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose, as always it’s appreciated. Join me again tomorrow as I do a test run and crack open a Prerelease kit and try some early deckbuilding for Core 2019!