Wizards of the Coast has gifted the Storm community once again with another removal spell! Over the years, my binder has become full of slight sidegrades to [[Abrupt Decay]], [[Chain of Vapor]], and [[Echoing Truth]]. [[Molten Collapse]] is the most recent removal spell in this long line of cards, and it has the potential to become a sideboard mainstay in The EPIC Storm.
Choose one. If you descended this turn, you may choose both instead. (You descended if a permanent card was put into your graveyard from anywhere.)
- Destroy target creature or planeswalker.
- Destroy target noncreature, nonland permanent with mana value 1 or less.
Targets & Misses
The best way to evaluate any removal spell is to see if it removes the permanents that matter. [[Molten Collapse]] kills almost all of the lock permanents that see common play. Some of the most important hits are [[Karn, the Great Creator]], [[Chalice of the Void]], [[Archon of Emeria]], [[Deafening Silence]], and [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]]. Notable misses include [[Sphere of Resistance]], [[Null Rod]], and [[Trinisphere]]. As a removal spell that can be found by [[Burning Wish]], that is a lot of great targets! This puts [[Molten Collapse]] into the conversation for sideboard slots. [[Archon of Emeria]] is one of the toughest permanents to remove because it takes so long to cast the [[Burning Wish]] and then have all of the mana to remove it. Being able to permanently remove it rather than bounce it helps remove it ahead of schedule.
Being a Sorcery is normally good in the [[Burning Wish]] deck. A Sorcery-speed removal spell, however, creates weird timings with mana and being able to win the game. With an Instant speed removal spell, the normal play pattern is to pass to the opponent’s end step, remove the permanent and then untap and win. This works well because as the Storm pilot, you know if you can win through what is left on board after the removal spell. With a Sorcery speed removal spell, passing the turn after spending it becomes scarier because it gives the opponent to a chance to deploy more lock pieces, especially if the lock piece was Legendary. Using [[Burning Wish]] to find a Sorcery speed removal spell adds so much more time to the equation as well. This is one of the reasons that [[Consign // Oblivion]] has become a mainstay in recent deck versions. As just a [[Burning Wish]] target, single target removal tends to not be good enough.
[[Molten Collapse]] is actually interesting because it can target multiple permanents. Descend checks to see if a permanent card from anywhere has gone to the graveyard this turn. For The EPIC Storm, the easiest permanents to put into the graveyard are fetch lands, [[Lotus Petal]], and [[Mishra’s Bauble]]. Being able to target multiple lock pieces helps undo the lock piece snowball that the prison decks try to use to win the game. For most prison decks, resolving the first lock piece lets them resolve the second one and eventually a win condition. Death & Taxes does this quite often by using [[Deafening Silence]] to buy time to resolve a [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]]. Undoing a prison snowball is hard to do, especially if all of the permanents are different types. Almost no cards in the game remove multiple permanents of multiple types at a rate that is acceptable for The EPIC Storm. Initially, we tested [[Witherbloom Command]] because of its ability to be that double removal. That card missed in some key spots, [[Collector Ouphe]] and other two toughness hate bears and ultimately was not good enough. [[Molten Collapse]] can almost always remove two differently typed permanents if there is something as simple as a fetch land lying around. We need to test if the blind spots of [[Molten Collapse]] are too big to play it often.
|Removal Spell||[[Karn, the Great Creator]]||[[Chalice of the Void]]||[[Null Rod]]/[[Sphere of Resistance]]||[[Collector Ouphe]]||[[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]]||[[Deafening Silence]]||[[Leyline of the Void]]|
With the biggest Legacy tournament of the year coming up, we finally get another tool to help shore up the non blue match ups. Bryant and I have been having a ton of success beating fair blue. [[Molten Collapse]] as a tool to help stop the prison snowball is going to help beat the non blue decks. The Website team will be working in the members section of the Discord! Also let me know on Twitter if you are exctied about any other The Lost Caverns of Ixalan cards. As always, if you like the articles here and want to support this content, sign up for our Patreon.