The Top Eight Creature-Removal Spells in CEDH

Updated on July 6, 2019
Devon Lemieux profile image

Devon has been playing Magic since 1994. He is an enthusiastic player who mainly enjoys the Legacy, Vintage, and Competitive EDH formats.

Why Is Creature Removal Important?

CEDH is a constantly evolving format. Even a year ago, the meta looked completely different. We had many more linear combo decks and very few control/interactive decks. But this day and age, interaction is king. There are more creature-centric decks than ever, especially with the rise of Tymna decks and hatebears. Creature pressure is now a valid strategy for reducing the effectiveness of Ad Nauseam and Necropotence. Powerful, linear combo decks have given way to more midrange, interactive combo decks that can handle the hate creatures and protect their life totals. Here are the current best options for ways to handle creatures.

1. Toxic Deluge

Toxic Deluge has been a long-time staple for board sweepers in this format. It's cheap and easy to cast and uses your life as a resource. The newer meta, however, sees a lower instance of this card being used. Why? Because paying life for Toxic Deluge eats into your life resource that could be used for Ad Nauseam or Necropotence. Life totals actually matter now and players are looking for alternatives to this once omnipresent card.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

2. Pongify/Rapid Hybridization

Pongify is a card that often slips under the radar for players looking for removal. So why is it so good? First of all, it's a one-mana removal spell in a non-white color. It also is superior to Swords to Plowshares in Protean Hulk-oriented decks because you can use it to trigger your own Protean Hulk at instant speed. Lastly, it can pitch to Force of Will, Misdirection, or Force of Negation. It should be said, however, that giving the opponent a 3/3 creature has become more of a downside since the rise of Tymna, the Weaver.

3. Massacre

There's a real theme starting to form here : Tymna, the Weaver. Massacre is good because of the real prevalence of Tymna decks in the format. It can usually be cast for zero mana and takes care of most creatures that you care about. This is a great card but is very situationally based on your opponents playing a high level of Tymna.

4. Cyclonic Rift

Cyclonic Rift has been a format staple for a while now. The instant cast aspect of the card, coupled with its flexibility makes it almost a must-have in any blue deck. This can be used to disrupt an opponent's single combo piece or clear the board at the end of your opponent's turn. This is especially good if your deck can easily produce a bunch of colorless mana.

5. Lightning Bolt

What? Lightning Bolt? Direct damage is bad in EDH, right? Well, normally, I would agree, but something happened in CEDH: The Dramatic Reversal/Isochron Scepter engine. Why does this matter? Well, the Paradox Engine/Isochron Scepter/Dramatic Reversal package is pretty much ubiquitous in CEDH. Almost every deck runs this engine and has many ways to put it together. Why does this matter? Well, the PSD engine can be made into a win condition with the addition of Lightning Bolt and Copy Artifact. You will already be running Copy Artifact in almost every PSD deck, so by just adding a Lightning Bolt, you've created another win condition that is also a removal spell that handles most of the creatures you would want to kill. This dramatically increases the viability of Lightning Bolt in any deck running PSD and red.

6. Reality Shift

Reality shift has been seeing a lot more play, as of late, in CEDH. This is largely due to the fact that it exiles a creature in a non-white color, and also effectively mills the opponent. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but the milling effect turns Reality Shift into a combo kill card. When you couple Tasigur, the Golden Fang's recursion, infinite mana, and Beast Within, you get an infinite mill engine that wins the game on the spot. The fact that those combo pieces double as interaction make this combo very good for control-style decks.

7. Gilded Drake

Gilded Drake is amazing against combo commanders. It comes down early and easily handles Commanders who get ramped out early and win the game. Some examples of this would be Arcum Daggson, Gitrog Monster, and Narset. I can't tell you how often I've seen this card completely disrupt a Commander-centric deck, because it doesn't actually kill the Commander, so they can't simply recast it. They have to find a way to kill the Commander first. Very good card, overall.

8. Swords to Plowshares

Swords to Plowshares really is the workhorse removal spell of the format. It's cheap and it handles most any creature, permanently. There isn't a whole lot to say here. It isn't part of a combo, it just removes things very efficiently. That being said, the aspect of giving your opponent life can actually help them with their Ad Nauseams and Necropotences. It's still a staple in any deck running white.

What's the number one removal spell in CEDH?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)