Best White Removal In Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering is a complex game, and building a solid deck is an art. One concept critical to successful deck building is having ways to stop what the other players are doing. To do this, you’ll need to play some type of interaction or removal, and white is one of the best colors to find such cards in. Today, I’ll be covering the best white removal in MTG.

White, as a color, cares about upholding the law and dealing justice to wrongdoers. This worldview gives the color cheap, effective removal that often exiles the target for very little mana and compensates the target’s controller with land, life, or tokens. It also specializes in removing artifacts and enchantments.

White may not take pleasure in destroying its enemies, but the law must be upheld by any means if necessary. Not only will I review my top picks for the best white removal spells but also what makes them good, their pros & cons, and what formats they’re good in. So, let’s jump right in.

Top 10 White Removal Spells

Preface: White also has some of the game’s best mass removal or board wipes. So much so that we have an entire article devoted to them, The 10 Best MTG White Board Wipes, which we update regularly; That said, today I’ll be focusing solely on single-target removal.

10. Kabira Takedown

kabira takedown
kabira plateau

Here we have what’s known as a modal dual-faced card (MDFC), which you can choose to cast either side of. In this case, one side is land, and the other is a removal spell. This MDFC is incredibly versatile because they give you options between two essential resources – Land and removal, all for a single slot in your deck.

The removal half, Kabira Takedown, deals damage to an opposing creature or planeswalker equal to the number of creatures you control. So, this will always be at its most effective in decks that can generate a ton of bodies – Anything that can make a ton of tokens will love this. However, there may be times when you don’t have enough creatures on board to remove a significant problem.

Related: Best Lands In MTG – A Complete Guide

The land portion taps for white mana and enters the battlefield tapped, which isn’t anything to write home about. That said, it’s still a land stapled onto a kill spell, and sometimes you need land more than removal. On the other hand, if you top deck this in the late game with plenty of mana, it’ll be much more helpful than a basic land.

Instant speedRequires you to have creatures in play to be effective
Damages creatures and planeswalkers
Versatile – Offers removal or land

Recommended Formats: Pioneer, Commander, Oathbreaker

9. Crib Swap

crib swap

Crib Swap has a lot going for it. The only true downside is the mana cost, which is a little high. You can choose and exile a creature for three mana, and its controller will get a colorless 1/1 token with changeling. If you aim this spell at something more significant than a vanilla 1/1, this will be a good trade for you.

What makes the card unique and sometimes worth the extra mana for the creature exile effect is that it’s a “Tribal Instant,” which has changeling. This means the spell itself counts as every creature type. This gives it some significant upside in decks that care about a particular creature type.

For example, if you cast this with Rin and Seri, Inseparable in play, you’d trigger both portions and make a 1/1 cat and a 1/1 dog because Crib Swap counts as both of those creature types.

Instant speedCosts more than similar effects
Exiles the targetOpponent gets a 1/1 token
Counts as every creature type

Recommended Formats: Commander, Oathbreaker

8. Prismatic Ending

prismatic ending

This card may seem a little strange to those who have never seen it. The more colors of mana you spend to cast it, the bigger permanent you can remove. The x in the casting cost allows you to pump mana of different colors into as opposed to just different amounts of mana.

To elaborate, casting this for two white mana would be pointless since the converge cost checks for colors of mana, not total mana spent. In my experience, the card is most effective in three or more color decks. For example, in a three-color deck, this could be:

  • One-mana – exile a one CMC permanent
  • Two-mana (of different colors) – exile a two CMC permanent
  • Three-mana (of different colors) – exile a three CMC permanent

If your deck plays many different colors or the average mana cost is very low in your meta, this can be a tremendous catch-all answer to several permanent types.

Cost scales with the size of the targetSorcery speed
Exiles the targetRequires several colors of mana to remove larger things
Removes multiple permanent types

Recommended Formats: Modern, Oathbreaker, Commander

7. Grasp of Fate

Grasp of Fate

Some of the best removal in white is enchantment-based, and Grasp of Fate is the first that I’d like to mention. This stands out over similar cards because it exiles a nonland permanent from each opponent! Obviously, this is huge in multiplayer formats like Commander and Oathbreaker since you’re getting (at most) a three-for-one.

If you’re playing a 1V1 format, you’ll prefer Banishing Light and Oblivion Ring. Both offer the same effect as Grasp of Fate (but for a single opponent) for a fraction of the monetary cost and one less colored mana. Furthermore, if you’re playing a strategy that cares about enchantments, you may play some combination of the three.

While they are very mana-efficient answers to various permanent types, they have one major drawback. If your opponent manages to remove your enchantment with something like Nature’s Claim, they’ll get their card back. In my experience, you’ll at least get a few turns of peace… But sometimes your stuff gets blown up as soon as you play it.

Grasp of Fate has pros and cons in this regard. First, if you exile something from multiple opponents, several players are incentivized to remove it, and everyone gets their stuff back. On the other hand, I’ve seen players work together to keep this on board if one permanent is significantly worse than the others.

Exiles the targetSorcery speed
Removes cards from multiple playersIf it gets removed the threats come back
Has synergy with enchantment strategies
Removes several permanent types

Recommended Formats: Commander, Oathbreaker

6. Fateful Absence

fateful absence kamigawa promo

There’s much to like about Fateful Absence and not much to dislike. Overall, it has a phenomenal mix of versatility, casting cost, and benefit to your opponent. For two mana, you get a hard answer to not only any creature in play but any planeswalker too, which is nice.

While you get a cost-effective way to answer two significant permanent types, the upside for opponents doesn’t scale. They get a clue token, an artifact that says, “Pay two mana, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.” So, while they get access to a new card, they’ll not get it for free. They must pay mana into the clue and cast whatever they draw, assuming it’s good.

Instant speedOpponent gets a clue token
Cheap to cast
Removes creatures and planeswalkers
Doesn’t give the opponent anything concrete

Recommended Formats: Standard, Pioneer, Commander, Oathbreaker

5. Dispatch


Dispatch goes from a spell that taps a creature to a one-mana exile with no downside. The only catch is that you must have at least three artifacts in play. If your deck consistently meets that requirement, you’ll have one of the most efficient removal spells possible. Of course, that’s best case scenario.

If you fail to draw enough artifacts or can’t keep them on board, your one-mana trump card becomes, well, not a removal spell. At its ceiling or in the right deck, this card is phenomenal. At the worst of times, or in a deck where it doesn’t belong, you’ll likely find yourself in some hot water.

But still, that’s not to dissuade you – Make sure to play this alongside cheap artifacts, artifact creatures, or even artifact lands such as Darksteel Citadel, and this card will be your friend.

Exiles the targetRequires you to have three artifacts in play
Instant speed
Very cheap to cast
Doesn’t give your opponent anything

Recommended Formats: Modern, Commander, Oathbreaker

4. Darksteel Mutation

darksteel mutation

Darksteel Mutation may be the meanest spell on the list. You’re turning an opposing card into a 0/1 creature with no abilities; that’s indestructible. Now you may think, “How is that worse than removing it?” Well, because the card is utterly trapped as a harmless bug if they can’t remove the enchantment.

Related: Best Black Removal In Magic: The Gathering

This is particularly good when you cast it on an opposing commander or oathbreaker. If the spell destroyed it, they could put it back in the command zone. With a Darksteel Mutation on it, that’s not an option. Furthermore, the indestructible adds insult to injury because they won’t even be able to destroy their creature to free it.

Turns the creature to a 0/1Sorcery speed
Strips creatures of all abilities Can be removed with enchantment removal
It can be removed with enchantment removal
Has synergy with enchantment-based decks

Recommended Formats: Commander, Oathbreaker

3. Generous Gift

generous gift

I love everything about this card. First, from a gameplay perspective, it’s great. For three mana, you can destroy any permanent you’d like. Creature? You got it. Powerful utility land? This will do it. Game-winning artifacts and enchantments? Look no further than Generous Gift.

This wouldn’t be a “gift” if you weren’t giving your opponent something – So, you destroy their permanent, and they get a 3/3 green elephant creature token. If you aim this spell at anything remotely threatening, this trade will be worth your three-mana investment.

Secondly, the card is phenomenal from a flavor perspective. I mean, the art shows some poor soul crushed beneath an elephant. This is pretty funny when you consider the card’s ability as saying, “Here’s an elephant.” and destroying something along the way. The flavor text is a nice little nod to this situation as well.

Instant speedOpponent gets a 3/3
Removes any permanent type

Recommended Formats: Commander, Oathbreaker

2. Path To Exile

path to exile

Path to Exile is a quintessential spell for white, and with good reason. It’s one of the most cost-effective removal spells in the game’s history. It can not only remove but exile any creature in play for a single mana. The card is so efficient and effective at what it does that it has to come with a tradeoff.

That tradeoff is that your opponent gets to search their library for a basic land and put it onto the battlefield tapped. This may feel like a huge cost to pay (and sometimes it is), but it’s never stopped path from seeing play in every format where it’s legal to sleeve it up. Stop and ask yourself how often you’d trade your best creature for an extra land, and the power of such a clean answer becomes apparent.

Instant speedOpponent gets a land
Exiles the creature
Very cheap to cast

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

1. Swords to Plowshares

swords of plowshares

Unless you’re new to the game, the selection for this number-one spot is no surprise. Swords to Plowshares is the best for removal in white. For a single mana, you can remove any creature (so long as it can be targeted) and know that it won’t be coming back to bother you later on down the road.

As with many removal spells in white, your opponent gets something in return for the spell being so efficient. In this case, the consultation is life equal to the exiled creature’s power. What makes this so much better than a creature token or a land is that life total isn’t a tangible resource to the extent the other things mentioned are.

Related: Best Blue removal In Magic: The Gathering

Lands can be tapped to deploy more threats; creature tokens can be used to attack, block, or be sacrificed for value. Most of the time, the life you give someone in return for their best creature won’t advance their game plan and won’t hinder yours, making it one of the best trades in MTG.

Instant speedOpponent gains life
Doesn’t give the opponent a significant resource
Exiles the creature
Very cheap to cast

Recommended Formats: Legacy, Vintage, Commander, Oathbreaker


There you have it, my friends – The best white removal spells in Magic: The Gathering. I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at these cards with me and have come away with some new spells in your repertoire to use in your next deck, regardless of what format you play.

Photo of author

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.