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Land destruction can refer to either a card that destroys lands or a deck with a main goal of destroying its opponent's lands.

Description[]

Land destruction is primarily centered in red, with green and black getting secondary.[1] White used to have Armageddon as a mass land destruction spell, but this ability has been moved to red in rearrangement of the Color pie.

Land destruction can be a viable strategy and has supported, in its cheapest forms, many aggressive decks of the Sligh or Suicide Black variety. These decks would play cheap creatures in the early turns, followed by land destruction effects such as Pillage, Sinkhole, Strip Mine and Wasteland in order to keep the opponent from generating enough mana to play answers to the early creatures. Rishadan Port was also commonly employed in its capacity to deny mana to the opponent, though it doesn't outright destroy the land.

However, R&D perceives land destruction as bad for the game as it promotes non-interactive gameplay and prevents the player on the other end from even participating in the game, due to the inability to produce enough mana to cast their spells. Thus the cost to destroy a land has been increased. Whereas Stone Rain was the common land destruction effect at three mana present in every Core Set up to 9th Edition, it has since been replaced by effects such as Demolish or Tectonic Rift in the four mana range.

R&D no longer wants to support land destruction effects that can be played in large quantities and render a player incapable of playing the game,[2] but still wants to provide cards that enable players to destroy certain lands that can be threatening otherwise. A prime example of this doctrine is Tectonic Edge, which was included in Worldwake to be a tournament viable answer to the Manlands in the same set.

For a while, R&D experimented with land freezing (lands that don't untap), but it didn't stick either.[3]

Land destruction cards of specific land types[]

Plains

Island

Swamp

Mountain

Forest

Nonbasic Land

References[]

  1. Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Randy Buehler (April 5, 2002). "Land Destruction Weak". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (May 17, 2021). "Future Sight Design Handoff Document". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.