Magic: The Gathering

Land Destruction

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Land Destruction in general is the ability to destroy a land in play. However, all cards which render a land useless, e.g. removing the land from the game or changing its type to be useless to the controller, can be considered Land Destruction even though they are often grouped together as Mana Denial.

Even though all colors have capabilities to deny the opponent his mana production in one way or another, it is primarily used on red cards and sometimes finds outright use on black or green cards.

Red is the major color in land destruction due to its passion to destroy physical objects and structure. Stone Rain is the bona fide standard land destruction spell capable of destroying any one land for three mana. Red also recently attained the ability to destroy multiple lands at the same time with spells such as Obliterate. Turning lands into a different kind of land by overriding its type, e.g. Blood Moon, is also present but much less frequent.

Green has a minor ability of destroying lands, usually costed with at least four mana and having another ability such as also being able to destroy enchantments or artifacts (Creeping Mold) or searching for land (Mwonvuli Acid-Moss). Green can also put lands in play on top of the library with spells such as Plow Under. Green also has a hard counter to land destruction with Life from the Loam.

Black has the ability to destroy lands outright. These spells can cost as little as two mana (Sinkhole) but are usually more color intensive. Black also has Enchantments which punish players for tapping lands such as Pooling Venom and Desolation.

White only has the ability to destroy all lands in play via effects such as Catastrophe or Armageddon. However these have become much less frequent as the ability has been moved to red. White usually tries to protect lands or replace lands if they are destroyed.

Blue has Bounce spells which can target lands, such as Boomerang. However, it can also change land types (e.g. Dream Thrush) and therefore limit the usefulness of certain lands. It can force an opponent to tap some or all of their lands with Power Sink or Drain Power.

Artifacts also sometimes have land destruction abilities, but they are usually much more pricey.

There are only few Land destruction effects on actual Lands and practically all of them have seen big tournament play due to its easy inclusion into decks. Examples are Wasteland, Dust Bowl and Ghost Quarter.

Earlier cards might target a particular basic land type such as with Wildfires, Tsunami, Active Volcano or Flash Flood. Much more often, though, and increasingly, destruction spells and effects specifically target "nonbasic lands".

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