June 24, 2020

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Daily Dose of Core Set 2021 #12 – Guide to Combat Tricks and Removal Cards by Colour

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Core Set 2021. It’s my favourite time of preview season when I start writing this guide for Limited. That’s right, it’s time for the Guide to Combat Tricks and Removal Cards by Colour for Core Set 2021. Anytime you're playing a new set, the biggest hurdle is knowing what to expect from your opponent. This guide is here to help you figure out what those spells are and how you can prepare yourself in case your opponent has them in their hand. You will see all the possible removal spells and combat tricks that you can use and that can be used against you.

To make it easier, I’ve broken it down by colour!

White Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

White has a surprising four removal spells, with each of them having some sort of drawback or situation in which you can use them. At instant speed Angelic Ascension will exile any creature or planeswalker but give your opponent a 4/4 Angel. You can also hit your own creatures as well to get an instant 4/4 blocker. Swift Response can rid of any tapping attacker at instant speed. Legion’s Judgment will target the big baddies, while Secure the Scene can handle any nonland permanent with only the small drawback of a 1/1. There are some other removal cards in the form of permanents with Faiths Fetters and Rambunctious Mutt. White has a few combat tricks up its sleeve with Feat of Resistance being the best counter against removal and to aid in combat. Defiant Strike can help a creature trade up during combat while Revitalize can turn on some synergies and put a player out of range of lethal damage.

Blue Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

As usual Blue has an interesting assortment of cards that can be used, but most of them are counterspells of some kind. Cancel and Rewind are your best clean counterspells in the set. Lofty Denial and Miscast are some situational counterspells which can come in handy. If you ignore mana cost, the best one of the bunch is Sublime Epiphany as it can do so much more for you than just countering a spell. Blue has two other ways to stop spells without countering them. Discontinuity can instantly end a turn, putting all spells on the stack into exile including itself. Unsubstantiate can be used to bounce a creature or return a spell to the owner’s hand forcing them to recast the spell in full later. When it comes to creatures already on the battlefield, the best way for blue to deal with a threat is with Capture Sphere. Rookie Mistake can help you win two battles in combat if played correctly, while Frost Breath can be used at instant speed to lock down 2 creatures for a couple of turns.

Black Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

While Black has the best creature removal, there isn’t a large amount of it. There a few at instant speed including Eliminate which can kill a low casting cost creature or planeswalker. Grasp of Darkness hits anything with four toughness or less, while Finishing Blow just is the only clean removal spell, but costs 5 mana. The closest thing to a sweeper we have is Pestilent Haze, which can give all creatures -2/-2 or attempt to finish off a planeswalker. There is creature removal in the form of a creature with Goremand. Black has two combat tricks to worry about when it comes to noncreature spells and that is the particularly good Alchemist’s Gift.  Liliana’s Standard Bearer provides three power, but it most likely going to be played after combat to draw some cards. Masked Blackguard and Thieves’ Guild Enforcer are cheap Flash creatures, so watch out!

Red Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

Red shows what its best at with some nice spells to deal damage to creatures, players, and planeswalkers. If it’s a small creature you need to kill, I would recommend Shock or Scorching Dragonfire. If you need a little more meat to your firepower Soul Sear can deal five damage while Volcanic Geyser can help you for as much mana as you have available. All the above are at instant speed, so watch out. At sorcery speed, Destructive Tampering can deal with an artifact. Transmogrify can exile any creature but will provide a replacement from the top of the deck. Turn to Slag can deal five damage to a creature and destroy some Equipment with it. Red’s best impersonation of a sweeper is Volcanic Salvo, which can deal six damage to up to two target creatures or planeswalkers. Red is equipped with some nice combat tricks including army pumper Burn Bright. Sure Strike and Unleash Fury can add some power to the board quickly. Be careful of the instant blockers that come from Sure Strike.

Green Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

Green is all about the combat tricks, but before I get to those Green has a few situational instant removal cards with Return to Nature and the flying killer Run Afoul. There are some nice Sorcery speed removal cards like the pumping spell Hunter’s Edge. Primal Might is the ultimate fighting card and should win some games when played. Thrashing Brontodon is a nice early creature that can help you destroy an artifact or enchantment if needed. Now on to the combat tricks! Fungal Rebirth can get back a big threat while throwing a few Saprolings on the battlefield to block. Invigorating Surge can be a huge pump spell if played at the right time. Ranger’s Guile acts as a Green counterspell, while Titanic Growth provides the large +4/+4 pump spell. Life Goes On is a tricky way to gain some life and surprise your opponent. The ultimate spell to watch for that can provide a full combat blowout is the tricky Heroic Intervention.

Multicolour and Artifact Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

There aren’t any cards for multicolour cards to worry about other than the Flash Creature Niambi, Esteemed Speaker. It can protect a creature and block itself if needed. When it comes to artifacts, there are two you can use to damage some creatures with the enter the battlefield damage of Meteorite and the 1-mana Silent Dart that can deal three damage.

I hope that this Core Set 2021 Guide to Combat Tricks and Removal Cards by Colour will provide some value and insight into what to expect in Core Set 2021 Limited play. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Core Set 2021. Join me in the coming weeks as I breakdown the set with deck archetypes, decklists, and strategies for Standard and Limited.