Making players saltier than pretzels since 1993.
Land destruction tends to be a love-it-or-hate-it mechanic, and I’m reasonably certain most people land on “hate it.” I don’t mind a bit of casual land destruction every now and again, but I know it’s a quick way to have people turn on you and cast you out as a villain and an evildoer. Still, if you believe that fun is zero-sum and if you further believe that you’re entitled to as much of that fun as possible, land destruction is a great way to secure it for yourself – here are 10 of the best ways to blow up people’s lands.
10. Stone Rain
FNM Promos | Rare
Market Price: $11.38
We kick things off with an absolute classic here. Back in the old days of Magic, land destruction was a lot more common and accessible than it is now, before the designers realized that the fun that land destruction generates tends to be pretty zero-sum. Before that, however, there were cards like Ice Storm and Sinkhole, but only Stone Rain has lasted through to the modern digital era of Magic. You can boot up MTGA, stick a playset of Stone Rains into a deck and go to town on opposing lands. You probably won’t win many games while you do it, but you can do it, and that’s what matters.
8th Edition | Uncommon
Blue players have had it too easy for too long. Blue decks and blue cards have dominated so much of Magic for years and years, and it’s about time they had their comeuppance. Boil actually does see play in Modern, in the sideboards of decks like Jund – and funnily enough, it’s an exceptional card not just against blue decks but also against things like Four-Color Omnath, where it will still blow up a ton of opposing lands. Good luck casting counterspells without any Islands! Just don’t counter the Boil, please.
8. Boom // Bust
Planar Chaos | Rare
Before the new Tibalt flip card forced a rules change, Boom // Bust was able to do absolutely disgusting things with cascade. You could cast a cascade card, flip into Boom and then cast Bust. A three-mana mass land destruction spell tends to be pretty good, but alas we’re no longer able to get away with such shenanigans. What you still can do, however, is target a fetchland with Boom, respond by cracking it, and just like that you’ve built yourself a two-mana Stone Rain. Boom!
7. Mwonvuli Acid-Moss
Time Spiral | Common
This inclusion is the result of extreme personal bias on my part, but I just can’t get enough of Mwonvuli Acid-Moss. This card is just so, so sick: not only are you destroying an opposing land, you’re also rubbing it in their face by going and getting another land for yourself! It feels so satisfyingly nasty to resolve this card against someone – especially against someone with a greedy mana base – as you blow up their lands while getting more and more of your own. I play this card whenever I get the chance and I regret absolutely nothing.
6. Acidic Slime
Commander: Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty | Uncommon
In EDH, you need diverse tools that are set up to deal with any and every situation. Versatile, flexible interaction comes at a premium in Commander, and Acidic Slime covers a huge number of bases. While most of the time you’ll use this card as a Disenchant, you can always blow up a land if you feel like it (or if they’re going bonkers with a Field of the Dead or something like that). Best of all, as a 2/2 deathtouch, it’s also a pseudo-creature removal card! What can’t Acidic Slime do?
5. Field of Ruin
Mystery Booster Cards | Uncommon
Land destruction cards have become a lot fairer over the years, and no card exemplifies this better than Field of Ruin. It’s very good at what it does, but never feels truly oppressive or unfair. If you fail to run sufficient basics it can live up to its name and absolutely ruin you, but otherwise it’s just a very fairly-costed ability that acts as a pressure valve for any lands that might be a little too good in a format like Standard. While my more villainous side enjoys old-fashioned land destruction, newer cards like Field of Ruin are much healthier for competitive environments and I’m glad they exist.
4. Fulminator Mage
Ultimate Masters: Box Toppers | Mythic
Market Price: $9.02
Fulminator Mage just looks like a spicy Stone Rain that can attack and block sometimes, but the fact that this ability is on a creature means you can do all sorts of nasty things that Stone Rain doesn’t really allow. The best example of this is in Living End, where you can play a Fulminator Mage, sacrifice it to destroy a land and then cast Living End to reanimate it and destroy another land, just to add insult to injury. While it doesn’t necessarily see the play it once did, Fulminator Mage is still a nasty piece of work, still destroying lands on the fringes of Modern.
3. Boseiju, Who Endures
Promo Pack: Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty | Rare
Market Price: $29.15
Perhaps it’s not entirely accurate to describe Boseiju as a land destruction card, given the range of its potential targets and the fact that the land it destroys usually replaces itself as part of the destruction ability, but even having said all that, Boseiju still feels like one of the best ways to attack opposing lands that we’ve seen in recent years. Like Acidic Slime, it offers enormous flexibility, and can even be used at instant speed to go after activated creature-lands and the like. Boseiju is a powerhouse piece of interaction, and even after it rotates out of Standard, I imagine its $30 price tag will stick around.
2. Strip Mine/Wasteland
Market Price: $14.35
Market Price: $20.57
When it comes to lands that destroy other lands, cards like Field of Ruin show us just how far we’ve come from how things worked originally. Strip Mine and Wasteland are so unbelievably powerful they’ve never been reprinted into formats like Modern, and Strip Mine is too good even for Legacy. Being able to destroy opposing lands for more or less zero mana, at instant speed, without much opportunity for countermagic? Sounds like the deal of the century. Even today, Wasteland keeps people honest in Legacy, forcing them to play at least some number of basics so as not to get Wastelanded out of the game as their precious duals are obliterated.
1. Armageddon, and Basically Every Other Mass Land Destruction Spell
Market Price: $356.99
Every year, EDHRec holds a vote on the saltiest cards in Commander, and every year, the list is completely dominated by mass land destruction spells. Armageddon, Jokulhaups, Obliterate, Devastation, Ravages of War, Decree of Annihilation, the list goes on: people really, really don’t like it when you mess with their lands. As I’ve said before, there’s no quicker way to ensure you never get asked to play Commander with people again than by turning up with a deck filled with mass land destruction – or not even mass land destruction, really, just any at all. Mass land destruction, however, remains the most brutally cruel and viciously polarizing thing you can bring to an EDH table, so if you fancy sleeving up a Numot, the Devastator deck with Armageddon and all the trimmings, consider yourself duly warned!