Modern Removal

Throughout the history of Magic, some colors have been better than others at getting rid of things. In the Modern format, it can be tricky to think of all of the removal out there. We’re going to list all of the removal that we’ve seen played, just to get an idea of what is out there.


Path to Exile is one of the best removal spells in Modern. It’s in a color that traditionally has very strong removal and board disruption, but this card in particular takes the cake. It’s cheap, it exiles, it’s an instant, and its only downside appears to be the ramping of your opponent (which is a very good trade to make for their biggest threat).

This card is a classic example of enchantment-based removal; it exiles any nonland permanent you don’t want. Its only downside is that it’s an enchantment, so it’s also prone to removal.

This card is a cheaper Oblivion Ring, but one that only targets creatures. It’s narrower, but is cheaper to compensate.


Though this isn’t hard removal, it does get your opponent’s creature out of the way with a good cost. This can also be used to replay cards with enter-the-battlefield effects for your own creatures, while your opponent is set back in tempo.


This spell is technically Black, but is played in a lot of decks that don’t make Black mana. It’s just that good. For one generic mana and four life, this kills almost everything in the format (even indestructible creatures) – except for the occasional Giant Eldrazi or Demon.

This spell is new and has yet to prove itself in the Modern format. However, it looks to be a primary, non-conditional removal spell that could make Black decks even more powerful.

These spells are similar (although there’s lots of debate over which one is better); they both have their own drawbacks, but two mana to kill a creature is always good.

Though this zero-cost removal spell seems very good (and in some cases, it is), its most practical use is in combo decks. If you’re trying to win the game next turn, you don’t need to care about the upkeep cost.

Though this is more of a sideboard card, a non-conditional removal spell for one Black is always good – even if it’s only at sorcery speed.


One removal spell to rule them all. Part of the original Alpha five-color cycle, this spell is as versatile as it is deadly. It can target players and creatures, and is a measuring stick for creatures in any playable format.


This color has the weakest removal of all, but is usually able to destroy creatures and threats by mixing with other colors (such as Black or White).

This is what Green gets for cheap removal. Though this card isn’t removal in the traditional sense, it allows you to smash your creature into your opponent’s. If combined with Lifelink or Deathtouch, Prey Upon can be very powerful.


This card not only has the benefit of two mana, but it’s also uncounterable and CMC-based. This card is extremely powerful and is played consistently in almost all Eternal formats.

This card can kill any pesky creature as needed, and its only drawback is that it’s Black/Red.

This card is the same as Terminate, except it has two changes: it’s sorcery speed (which makes it much weaker), but it can destroy planeswalkers, as well, making it a viable option for removal in the format.

This spell destroys any creature or enchantment you could want. Both versatile and relatively cheap, this spell is a potent option for creature and enchantment removal.

Well, that does it for the removal spells of Modern. Feel free to leave any questions, comments, or concerns in the section below. Thanks!


Sylvan Studies Team
"He wished for knowledge, but not for the will to apply it" - Cunning Wish
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