Best Green Removal In Magic: The Gathering

Green is an excellent color in Magic: The Gathering. It can ramp and accelerate on mana better than any other color and has the biggest, most well-costed creatures in the game. If you’re playing green, you can almost always count on having the most significant threat on the board. While its own threats are substantial, green doesn’t have the best removal for opposing creatures.

Green removal often pits its creatures against opponents’ creatures, having them both deal damage to each other with what’s known as a “fight spell.” As mentioned, the color has the beefiest creatures, so this system works incredibly well under most circumstances. Green also specializes in removing artifacts, enchantments, and creatures with flying.

Betting that you’ll have the biggest creature on board (and usually being right) allows green players to use “fight spells” effectively. When everything goes according to plan, they’re great but aren’t without their downsides. Furthermore, not all fight spells are created equal. So, today I’ll review the best green removal spells in Magic: The Gathering, their pros & cons, and what formats I recommend them for.

Top 10 Green Removal Spells

Preface: We have a separate article devoted to the best green board wipes, so you’ll be seeing the best single-target removal green has to offer below.

10. Prey Upon

prey upon

Here we have a classic example of a “fight spell.” Your creature will fight an opposing creature, both will deal damage equal to their power to the other, and the smaller, weaker creature will die. Considering this only costs one mana, assuming you have a creature bigger than what you want to remove in play, this can be very effective.

The trouble comes when you don’t have a creature in play, or you don’t have a large enough creature in play to remove the problem. You’ll also need to consider that your creature will be taking damage too. This means playing around possible pump spells and abilities like deathtouch.

Lastly, you’ll want to consider if using spells like this will diminish your ability to attack. After all, the creature you target with this will likely have damage marked on it before it ever makes it to combat. There are tons of variations of this spell, many of which we’ll discuss below.

Very cheap to castRequires you to have a larger creature than what you want to remove
Your creature takes damage as well
Sorcery speed

Recommended Formats: Pauper, Commander, Oathbreaker

9. Voracious Hydra

voracious hydra

Voracious Hydra is a creature that enters the battlefield with a number of counters equal to the amount of mana you pay into its x cost. It also comes with two options, and you choose one as it enters the battlefield – One of those options is to have it fight a creature you don’t control. In other words, it’s a fight spell that nominates itself as the participant.

There are a few good things about this. First, you’ll never have to worry about not having a creature in play, considering the effect come staples right onto one. Second, you can control your hydra’s size (assuming you have enough mana) and cast it to whatever size you need.

Related: The Best Green Ramp Cards In MTG For EDH

Lastly, considering it scales with your mana, it is excellent alongside anything that ramps you. In most cases, this sees play alongside Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, where it can get massive, very fast, and likely remove even the most significant threats. Oh, and that’s only half the options. Assuming you don’t need to remove anything, you can double the number of counters that it would enter with.

Scales as the game goes onYour creature takes damage as well
Works very well alongside mana rampSorcery speed
It can be a considerable threatMore expensive than some other fight effects
Has options beyond removal

Recommended Formats: Pioneer, Commander, Oathbreaker

8. Vivien Reid

vivien reid

The -3 ability on the original incarnation of Vivien Reid is what lands her on the list. It can remove an artifact, enchantment, or creature with flying. This is particularly good in formats like Commander and Oathbreaker, and you’ll likely always have some relevant targets there. And if not, she has a great +1 and a powerful, game-ending -8.

What I particularly like about her ability to remove creatures with flying is that it goes a long way toward protecting herself. Based on the other two abilities present here (and being in green), you’ll usually be playing this amongst plenty of creatures. That being said, most of them will probably be ground forces, and having control of the air can keep Vivien in play.

Overall powerful cardSorcery speed
Removes several permanent typesHas to remove loyalty to remove things
Potential win condition

Recommended Formats: Pioneer, Commander, Oathbreaker

7. Primal Might

primal might

My number seven pick is another fight spell. This one skews the fight in your favor by pumping your creature up beforehand. Giving green something to do with the copious amount of mana it can generate is excellent, and this is undoubtedly a good mana sink.

This helps ensure your creature is big enough to remove the creature you need to go and survive. However, this can be used in quite offensive ways as well. If you pump your creature up to a massive size and eliminate something, your creature keeps that boost after the fight. So, if you took out a blocker or there’s another player ripe for an attack, you can have an enormous creature to swing.

Again, this spell works amazingly alongside Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx in Pioneer, and Gaea’s Cradle in Commander. Anything that gives you extra mana is your friend when playing Primal Might, but those are the big two that come to mind.

It’s worth mentioning that you can simply cast this for one green mana (x being zero) if your creature is already large enough. In cases where you do this, you’ll basically be casting a Prey Upon, which was covered above. At baseline, this is as good as that, and at its best, it’s leaps and bounds better.

Versatile casting costYour creature takes damage as well
Scales as the game goes alongSorcery speed
Pumps the creature that will be fighting
Works very well with mana ramp

Recommended Formats: Pioneer, Commander

6. Khalni Ambush

khalni ambush
khalni territory

The fight portion of this card, Khalni Ambush, isn’t anything to write home about on its own – It’s a three-mana version of the fight spells we’ve already looked at. You choose a creature you control, and it fights one that you don’t, with both dealing damage to the other. As for this side of the card, the only thing that stands out is the instant speed.

However, that’s only half of the card. The other side, Khalni Territory, functions like a basic forest that enters the battlefield tapped. Again, nothing special all alone. But when you consider that you get access to both of these for a single spot in your deck, and you have a recipe for success. Even if they’re both under par on their own.

You can swap this out for a basic forest and be none the worse in most circumstances. When you do, you’re squeezing extra removal into your deck at almost no cost to you. Now, getting flooded with lands or drawing this off the top of your deck in the late game is much better than a basic land.

On the flip side, in situations where you don’t need removal, you can play this out as a land and use it to advance your board on subsequent turns. In other words, versatility is king here – Removal when you need it, land when you need it.

Instant speedRequires you to have a larger creature than what you want to remove
Can be played as a land when you don’t need removalYour creature also takes damage

Recommended Formats: Commander, Oathbreaker

5. Infectious Bite

infectious bite

This is the newest card on the list, and there is much to like. First, it’s cheap to cast for the value you get. Second, the damage dealt is one-sided. So, your creature damages the opposing creature but doesn’t take any damage, which is huge. This lets you remove creatures without fear of losing yours and is great for getting around opposing deathtouch.

Next, tacked causally onto the bottom of the card is, “Each opponent gets a poison counter.” If you’re playing an infect strategy, this bit of text will be a massive upside for you. However, in my experience, it’s just as good in any deck capable of proliferating. Aside from the poison, it’s a great, instant speed removal spell for green.

Related: MTG Proliferate: How Does It Work?

Cheap to castRequires you to have a larger creature than what you want to remove
Instant speed
Your creature doesn’t take damage
Each opponent gets a poison counter

Recommended Formats: Standard, Commander, Oathbreaker

4. Kenrith’s Transformation

kenriths transformation

Kenrith’s Transformation is an interesting card. You’ll enchant (assumingly) an opposing creature with it and turn it into a 3/3 Elk with no ability to speak of. For two mana, that’s already not a terrible deal. But you don’t make it to number four on the best green removal in MTG list for just that.

What really sweetens the pot here is that it also cantrips, or in other words, replaces itself with a new card when you cast it. You can’t beat cards that do their jobs and give you new cards all simultaneously, and that’s exactly what this does. While being an enchantment does have its downsides, a lot of the risk associated with cards like this is mitigated by that card.

Worst-case scenario, this gets removed shortly after you play it, and the creature returns to its original form. That’s not great, but you’ve still drawn another card, and that’s ok for a two-mana investment. The best case scenario, if they can’t remove this, you trap something terrifying as an Elk and draw a card for two mana.

There are tons of enchantment-based strategies where green is a prominent color too. In those cases, you may generate even more value by casting this.

Draws you a cardSorcery speed
Cheap to castOpponent gets a 3/3
Can remove creatures of any sizeEasily removed
Doesn’t require you to have a creature in play
Has synergy with enchantment strategies

Recommended Formats: Commander

3. Inscription of Abundance

inscription of abundance

The strength of nscription of Abundance comes from its versatility. It has three solid options, one of which is your standard fight spell. Given that this is only two mana and instant speed, it’s an effective way to deal with opposing creatures overall. And that’s not considering the other options, which are also great.

The first one is to put two +1/+1 counters on a creature. The second mode allows you (or another player) to gain x life, where x is the greatest power among creatures they control. The kicker cost further increases the versatility of the spell. If you choose to pay the additional three-mana, you can select any number of the modes instead of just one.

Not only is this generally great for scaling in usability as the game goes on, but the options work very well together as well. For example, putting two +1/+1 counters on a creature means that it will be more capable in the fight, and you’ll gain more life because it will have higher power.

Cheap to castRequires you to have a larger creature than what you want to remove
Has multiple options/versitileYour creature takes damage
Kicker allows you to choose multiple options

Recommended Formats: Commander, Oathbreaker

2. Ram Through

ram through

Like Infectious Bite, this allows your creature to deal damage equal to its power to the target while not taking any damage. So, this really isn’t a “fight spell” so much as an attack – Your creature will be hitting and not being hit back. And that’s not all, Ram Through, also has another upside.

If the creature you choose as your offensive combatant has trample, it will “ram through,” and any excess damage that it deals to the creature will be dealt to that creature’s controller. This makes this not only a removal spell but often a powerful burn spell as well.

Cheap to castRequires you to have a larger creature than what you want to remove
Only your creature deals damage
Creatures with trample deal excess damage to defending player

Recommended Formats: Pauper, Pioneer, Commander, Oathbreaker

1. Beast Within

beast within

At last, we arrive at the number one spot – The best of the best for green removal. Beast Within does it all, and it does it well. If you absolutely, positively need anything that’s making your life hard off the board, this can do it. Beast Within stands above the other cards mentioned here because it can remove any permanent type, even land, for three mana.

Related: Best Black Removal In MTG

Granted, your opponent will get a 3/3 green beast token, but that’s little more than a consolation prize compared to their most important permanent in play. Aside from the token, there is no catch here. You don’t need a creature in play; you don’t have to worry about them getting the threat back later, as with Kenrith’s Transformation. If you have two and a green, you have an answer to the best thing in play, regardless of the card type.

Removes any permanent typeOpponent gets a 3/3
Instant speed
Hard removal
Doesn’t count on your creatures being larger

Recommended Formats: Modern, Commander, Oathbreaker, Vintage

End Step

People often say that green is the worst color in MTG regarding removal. In my experience, statements like that are just on paper. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the best but in-game, and with even a moderate board, green’s removal is highly effective. So, regardless of the format, or strategy, I hope you walk away from today’s article with some new tools in your arsenal.

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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.