Best Blue Removal Spells In Magic: The Gathering

In MTG, focusing on what your deck is doing to win is only half the battle. You’ll also need to stop what your opponents are doing. Having cards that interact with or remove their key cards is often crucial for success. Today, I’ll review MTG’s best blue removal spells, and their pros & cons. It’s worth mentioning that I won’t be including the best counterspells or best blue board wipes on this list since we have separate articles devoted to them.

Blue isn’t the best color in the game for removing creatures (or other permanents) once they’ve hit the board, but it still has some excellent, efficient options in its arsenal. Blue’s removal is relatively cheap to cast and comes with the downside of giving your opponent a creature token in place of what they lost. From a flavor perspective, this represents blue’s mastery over magic. Is something giving you trouble? Well, turn it into a bird!

Since you rarely destroy creatures outright, many removal spells are well-costed and efficient. If you save your spells for big enough threats, the small tokens your opponents get in return are little more than a consolation prize. Without further ado, let’s look at the best removal spells in blue.

The Top 10 Blue Removal Spells

10. Ravenform


Ravenform comes from the set “Kaldhiem” and has the foretell mechanic. You can exile any creature or artifact for three mana at face value, and its controller will get a 1/1 for your efforts. While this isn’t the best rate in the world, it’s not the worst. And managing important artifacts that have already passed the stack is vital for mono-blue.

The foretell ability can help reduce the casting by allowing you to pay for it throughout two turns – While also making opponents play around a facedown card. Furthermore, some other cards synergize well with this thanks to it having foretell too. You’ll want this when brewing up any of the following commanders:

While there are some places where this could perform, being three CMC and sorcery speed makes it in-efficient without some further synergy.

Exiles the targetSorcery
Can remove creatures and artifactsThree mana

Recommended Formats: Commander

9. Curse of the Swine

curse of the swine

This is the closest thing you’ll see to a board wipe on the list. Thanks to the x casting cost, you could hypothetically take out an entire board of creatures with Curse of the Swine, and that’s an excellent option to have sometimes. Furthermore, you’ll exile the creatures, which means they’ll stay gone for good.

Starting with the least you could cast this for (x=1), exiling a single creature with this would cost three mana, which isn’t a great rate. However, as it scales up, it gets better – Four mana and you can remove two creatures, five mana removes three creatures, and so forth.

It’s also worth noting that you can squeeze extra value from this in Hinata, Dawn-Crowned, where the cost reduction makes it much more effective, or Zaxara, the Exemplary, where you can take advantage of the variable casting cost.

Exiles the creaturesSorcery speed
Can remove multiple threatsRequires more mana

Recommended Formats: Commander

8. Chain of Vapor

chain of vapor

This is a strange card before you get used to it. Once you do get the hang of it, it can be pretty good. Starting, you’ll bounce a nonland permanent back to someone’s hand. Dealing with creatures, artifacts, enchantments, Planeswalkers, or battles for a single mana is versatile and efficient.

Once you choose which permanent you’d like to bounce, its controller may choose to sacrifice a land, and if they do, they can create a copy of Chain of Vapor for themselves, choose a new target for it, and bounce something themselves. This can make for some interesting table talk in Commander, where multiple players may be trying to answer multiple threats.

Related: Most Fun Commander Decks In MTG

However, even if no one ever creates a chain with this, you’ll always be getting that versatile, one-mana bounce spell that can get whatever’s bugging you off the board for a rotation, and that’s what landed it here.

Cheap to castOther players can use it as well
Can remove any permanent but landThe permanent can be recast
Instant speed

Recommended Formats: Commander, Oathbreaker, Legacy, Vintage

7. Mystic Confluence

mystic confluence

Mystic Confluence does much more than simply removing creatures. That said, it can bounce up to three creatures back to their owner’s hand for five mana. It’s also extremely versatile – If three nasty creatures are on board, you’re covered. If there’s only one threat, bounce it and draw two cards. Did the board just get wiped by another player? Counter the next spell that they tap out for and refuel your hand.

I think you get the point; this isn’t the cheapest removal spell in blue, but you’ll always get your money’s worth out of this card. It does a little of everything, and five mana “bounce the three biggest creatures” will almost always be impactful in a game. And if not, you can’t beat card draw.

Instant speedOnly bounces creatures (doesn’t destroy them)
Can bounce up to three creaturesCosts more mana
Extremely versatile and will never be a dead card

Recommended Formats: Commander

6. Snap


Snap is a simple spell with a nice upside compared to similar cards. A two-mana, instant-speed spell to bounce a creature isn’t exactly out of the ordinary. What makes Snap unique is that you get to untap two lands, which makes the spell essentially free to cast after your initial investment.

This allows you to chain spells together, untap key utility lands like (Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx), net mana with things like High Tide, and make general good use of your mana while keeping opposing creatures in check.

Instant speedOnly removes creatures and they can be recast later
Untaps your lands
Doesn’t cost you any mana once you’ve cast it

Recommended Formats: Commander, Pauper, Oathbreaker

5. Brazzen Borrower/Petty Theft

brazen borrower

Even if you’ve never played it, you can tell Brazen Borrower is a great card because it sees pretty extensive play in every format where it’s legal. The Petty Theft “adventure” portion is the removal spell, and it’s highly efficient – Two mana to bounce any nonland permanent at instant speed is a clean answer.

While that, all alone, is good, the fact that it’s attached to a creature puts the card over the top. The versatility of having an answer when you need one and a creature when you don’t is phenomenal. Even better, you don’t have to choose one or the other – You can cast Petty Theft one turn and still have a 3/1 flyer in your back pocket for later.

The creature portion also has flash, which further increases the versatility. You can leave up mana to bounce something; if nothing significant comes up, you can cast the creature portion, which allows you to use your mana very efficiently. Furthermore, it can come in on opposing end steps for a pseudo-hasty attacker or as a surprise blocker during combat.

Instant speedDoesn’t count as an instant in your deck, hand, and graveyard
Can remove any nonland permanentOnly bounces permanents (doesn’t destroy them)
Comes stapled to an evasive creature

Recommended Formats: Commander, Modern, Pioneer, Vintage, Legacy, Oathbreaker

4. Imprisoned in the Moon

imprisoned in the moon

Imprisoned in the Moon is one of the few cards that completely lock someone off their commander or oathbreaker. You essentially turn their permanent into a Wastes. If they can’t sacrifice their general or remove your enchantment, they won’t be able to return their creature/planeswalker to the command zone. And it’ll be more or less utterly useless as a colorless producing land.

While there is also the option to deal with a problematic land, this is usually cast on opposing generals and is brutal. If you cast this on a less significant creature, you’ll be overpaying a bit, and it won’t be at instant speed. Furthermore, considering Disenchant effects are widespread in commander, there’s always a chance this will get removed, and they’ll get their threat back.

This won’t be the overall best removal spell for anyone in blue but in certain situations, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another spell that does what this does for as good of a rate.

Removes creatures, Planeswalkers, or landsSorcery speed
Can keep players off of their commanderSusceptible to removal
Very unique effect

Recommended Formats: Commander, Oathbreaker

3. Reality Shift

reality shift

Overall, Reality Shift is a good answer to opposing creatures. It’s cheap to cast, instant speed and ensures the creature stays gone for good via exiling it. Where things get interesting is that your opponent will manifest the top card of their deck as a 2/2. Now, a generic 2/2 isn’t usually a threat in a format like commander.

However, considering the card is manifested and not just a plain token, it could flip into something quite powerful. Another thing to consider is that tokens go away whenever they leave the battlefield, regardless of how big they are – The manifested card could be something that can be recurred, generate further value, or otherwise make your life hard.

At its best, this card is terrific. At its worst, you’ll probably feel like you just cast a two mana Polymorph on your opponent’s creature for them and may regret it – Most of the time, you’ll be somewhere in the middle… So, just choose your targets wisely when you cast this.

Exiles the creatureOpponent will sometimes manifest something powerful
Instant speed
Cheap to cast

Recommended Formats: Commander, Oathbreaker

2. Resculpt


Resculpt is very similar to Reality Shift but it doesn’t come with the same risks and can even remove more card types from play. You can exile any creature or artifact for the low cost of two mana. The versatility of removing artifacts and creatures and doing it permanently landed this so high on the list. Overall, it’s a great answer to what you’ll come up against in a game of EDH.

Of course, your opponent will get a 4/4 (which is bigger than some of the tokens we’ve seen so far), but it’s also a lot safer than a manifested card. Assuming you’re casting this on something worthwhile, a 4/4 will be more than a fair trade for you – You’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with, and the token will be useless if it leaves the battlefield.

Instant speedOpponent gets a 4/4
Cheap to cast
Removes artifacts or creatures
Exiles the target
4/4 doesn’t have evasion and you always know what you’re up against

Recommended Formats: Commander, Oathbreaker

1. Pongify & Rapid Hybridization

rapid hybridation

Here we are – The creme of the crop, the best of the best for blue removal, and we have two functionally identical cards. Both Pongify and Rapid Hybridization destroy an opposing creature for a single blue mana and give your opponent a 3/3. Even if you just skimmed the rest of the list to the number one spot, you’ve probably gathered this is a step above most of the other spells, at least for most decks.

There are no timing restrictions for either spell, the creature is destroyed instead of being bounced, and the token they get is straightforward, has no evasion, and has negligible power and toughness. Overall, if you’re looking to remove creatures in mono-blue you won’t do any better than these.

Instant speedOnly removes creature
Very cheap to cast
Destroys the creature
Doesn’t give a powerful token

Recommended Formats: Commander, Oathbreaker

End Step

Blue is known for having great interaction, but it’s usually talked about in the form of Counterspell and the like or versatile board wipes like Cyclonic Rift. While there is some overlap between those categories and the spells on this list, I hope I illustrated that not all the best removal in blue is on the stack or for the entire board. Until next time, get out there are play some MTG.

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Geno Doak

I started playing Magic in 2015. I love all formats but I particularly love to play and build decks in modern. Pretty much every part of my life has been influenced by Magic in some way or another. It is something I am very passionate about. RIP Simian Spirit Guide.