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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Aug 17 2015 12:00pm
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I love this game. I love writing about it. Compiling lists about it. Evaluating it. Sometimes, I even play it. I'm an Accidental Player.

 The Tolarian Academy of Arcane Arts and Pictures presents: THE TOPDECK AWARDS!
 The best way to celebrate 20+ long years of this silly game, by rewarding all those beloved cards that, at one point or another, starred in our personal tragicomedies and psychodramas.

 Today's category: Outstanding Board Sweeper. A board sweeper, also known as "board wipe" or, when it affects only creatures, "wrath effect", is defined as any non-targeted spell or effect that results in the destruction or exile of all permanents of a certain type that are on the battlefield, possibly sparing the ones on your side. Since the beginning of the game, dangerously unbalanced board statuses or simply stalled positions have been broken through the use of a sweeper, that may provide the player using it with great card advantage. To qualify, a card's sweep effect must be the primary reason for its inclusion in any given deck (i.e. unlike Elspeth Tirel or Ajani Vengeant), but it doesn't need to guarantee the removal of all permanents of the affected type (e.g. for all intents and purposes, Infest and Pyroclasm are considered here as board sweepers). The nominations are divided into sub-categories and accompanied by a brief profile of the nominees, which are listed alphabetically. Winners will be published with the announcement of the next category. Last month's winners are here.

 And the voting duty, ladies and gentlemen, is all yours.

 But first, here's the Board Sweeper Hall of Fame. All the Hall of Famers aren't eligible for Awards.

 

> GO DIRECTLY TO THE BALLOTS <

> PREVIOUS CATEGORIES <


 Category A: Outstanding Mono-White Board Sweeper

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Akroma's Vengeance
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Onslaught
  • Reason for Nomination: Because cycling away your safety valve is what you want to do early on.

 

2. 

  • Name: Armageddon
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Limited Edition Alpha
  • Reason for Nomination: Because when you're ahead, you'd do anything to seal the deal.

 

3. 

  • Name: Austere Command
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Lorwyn
  • Reason for Nomination: Because you may either be the one with big dude and equipments or the one with small dudes and auras, or any combination thereof.

 

4. 

  • Name: Catastrophe
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Urza's Saga
  • Reason for Nomination: Because an option of Wrath of God or Armageddon in the same slot is a good option.

 

5. 

  • Name: Day of Judgment
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Zendikar
  • Reason for Nomination: Because Wrath of God's little brother is still wildly popular, and often performs just the same way.

 

6. 

  • Name: Final Judgment
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Betrayers of Kamigawa
  • Reason for Nomination: Because too many things can't be destroyed nowadays.

 

7. 

  • Name: Magus of the Disk
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Time Spiral
  • Reason for Nomination: Because Nevinyrral's Disk is even more abusable as a creature, and not slower in the least.

 

8. 

  • Name: Myojin of Cleansing Fire
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Champions of Kamigawa
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a god answering your prayer of death!

 

9. 

  • Name: Planar Cleansing
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Magic 2010
  • Reason for Nomination: Because sometimes you really want to cleanse that nasty board.

 

10. 

  • Name: Sunblast Angel
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Scars of Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination:  Because she's a deeply tactical move.

 Honorable Mentions: Angel of the Dire Hour, Cleanse, End Hostilities, False Prophet, Fated Retribution, Hour of Reckoning, March of Souls, Martial Coup, Mass Calcify, Patrician's Scorn, Phyrexian Rebirth, Planar Collapse, Purify, Ravages of War, Rout, Scourglass, Serenity, Sunscour, Winds of Rath.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category B: Outstanding Mono-Black Board Sweeper

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Black Sun's Zenith
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it kills even what can't be killed, and then it does it again.

 

2. 

  • Name: Decree of Pain
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Scourge
  • Reason for Nomination: Because sweeping has never provided so much card advantage.

 

3. 

  • Name: Desolation Angel
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Apocalypse
  • Reason for Nomination: Because she "gently" pushes you into casting her own Armageddon.

 

4. 

  • Name: Extinction
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Tempest
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it puts creature type hatred to good use.

 

5. 

  • Name: Forced March
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Mercadian Masque
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's less played than it should.

 

6. 

  • Name: In Garruk's Wake
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Magic 2015
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it made Commander staple Plague Wind semi-obsolete.

 

7. 

  • Name: Living Death
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Tempest
  • Reason for Nomination: Because if timed right, it doesn't just sweep; it wins you games.

 

8. 

  • Name: Mutilate
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Torment
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a MBC classic.

 

9. 

  • Name: Overwhelming Forces
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Portal Three Kingdoms
  • Reason for Nomination: Because leave it to Portal to give us a more powerful, if less versatile, Decree of Pain.

 

10. 

  • Name: Toxic Deluge
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Commander 2013
  • Reason for Nomination: Because sweeping-wise, it's the fastest, and the most suicide-friendly.

 Honorable Mentions: Bane of the Living, Crux of Fate, Dread Cacodemon, Drown in Sorrow, Extinguish All Hope, Hellfire, Hythonia the Cruel, Kagemaro, First to Suffer, Life's Finale, Massacre, Massacre Wurm, Nature's Ruin, Necromantic Selection, Perish, Plague Wind, Rain of Daggers, Reiver Demon, Reign of Terror, Tsabo's Decree, Virtue's Ruin.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category C: Outstanding Mono-Red Board Sweeper

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Blasphemous Act
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Innistrad
  • Reason for Nomination: Because those 13 damages can somehow reach the opponent's dome, too.

 

2. 

  • Name: Bonfire of the Damned
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Avacyn Restored
  • Reason for Nomination: Because if you draw into it at the right time, it's definitely the most powerful X-costed spell ever printed.

 

3. 

  • Name: Jokulhaups
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Ice Age
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's one of the venerated grandfathers of all the reset buttons.

 

4. 

  • Name: Obliterate
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Invasion
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's advanced Jokulhaups.

 

5. 

  • Name: Pyroclasm
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthplace: Ice Age
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it might be all that's needed.

 

6. 

  • Name: Rolling Earthquake
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Portal Three Kingdoms
  • Reason for Nomination: Because, let's be honest here, it's Earthquake plus Hurricane 100% of the times. Thank you, misguided Portal new keywords.

 

7. 

  • Name: Shatterstorm
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Antiquities
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it wipes the board of all those pesky artifacts since 1994.

 

8. 

  • Name: Starstorm
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Onslaught
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's more flexible and less dangerous than any Earthquake.

 

9. 

  • Name: Sudden Demise
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Commander 2013
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's very easy to turn it into a one-sided sweep at the cost of a single Fireball.

 

10. 

  • Name: Worldfire
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Magic 2013
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the veritable last word on the matter of conceivable sweepers.

 Honorable Mentions: Anarchy, Anger of the Gods, Apocalypse, Bearer of the Heavens, Boil, Boiling Seas, Boom/Bust, Chain Reaction, Decree of Annihilation, Desolation GiantDevastation, Disaster Radius, Earthquake, Electrickery, Firestorm, Flashfires, From the Ashes, Furnace Dragon, Inferno, Magmaquake, Mogg Infestation, Myojin of Infinite Rage, Pulverize, Ruination, Slagstorm, Vandalblast, Volcanic Fallout, Whipflare, Wildfire.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


 Category D: Outstanding Blue or Green Board Sweeper

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Back to Nature
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Birthplace: Magic 2011
  • Reason for Nomination: Because Splinter Twin decks and aura decks are things that exist.

 

2. 

  • Name: Bane of Progress
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Commander 2013
  • Reason for Nomination: Because an artifact/enchantment sweeper on-a-stick is mightily abusable.

 

3. 

  • Name: Creeping Corrosion
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin Besieged
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it was about time green got its own Shatterstorm.

 

4. 

  • Name: Cyclonic Rift
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Return to Ravnica
  • Reason for Nomination: Because the targeted mode is nice, the overload mode is mean.

 

5. 

  • Name: Hurkyl's Recall
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Antiquities
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the bane of robots.

 

6. 

  • Name: Whelming Wave
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Born of the Gods
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's blue's fastest way to clear the board of creatures, with the off-chance of turning it into advantage in late game.

 

7. 

  • Name: Whirlwind
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Urza's Saga
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's, appropriately, green's only creature sweeper.

 Honorable Mentions: Acid Rain, Aetherize, Displacement Wave, Evacuation, Inundate, Kederekt Leviathan, Sunder, Tsunami, Upheaval.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


  Category E: Outstanding Colorless Board Sweeper

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: All Is Dust
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Rise of the Eldrazi
  • Reason for Nomination: Because there's very few things that survive this sweep – if you're not playing against robots.

 

2. 

  • Name: Engineered Explosives
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Fifth Dawn
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a very versatile solution to your main problem.

 

3. 

  • Name: Nevinyrral's Disk
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Limited Edition Alpha
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a true legend – and the most obscure tribute to Ringworld writer Larry Niven.

 

4. 

  • Name: Oblivion Stone
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the proof that it doesn't actually take much to sweep everything away, in any color.

 

5. 

  • Name: Perilous Vault
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Magic 2015
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it dared to openly challenge Oblivion Stone on its turf. Jury's still out.

 

6. 

  • Name: Ratchet Bomb
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Scars of Mirrodin
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it was born as a new and improved Powder Keg, and became a sideboard favorite since.

 

7. 

  • Name: The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Legends
  • Reason for Nomination: Because a land that wipes creatures away (or at least tries to make their lives miserable)? Yes, please.

 Honorable Mentions: Powder Keg, Plague Boiler, Steel Hellkite, Worldslayer.

> GO TO THE BALLOTS <


  Category F: Outstanding Multicolored Board Sweeper

 The nominees are: 

1. 

  • Name: Child of Alara
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Birthplace: Conflux
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the most lethal baby you'll ever kill.

 

2. 

  • Name: Fracturing Gust
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Shadowmoor
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the ultimate artifact and enchantment hater: at instant-speed and with lifegaining attached.

 

3. 

  • Name: Magister of Worth
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Conspiracy
  • Reason for Nomination: Because under all that text, she's basically a Day of Judgment plus a 4/4 flying body for 6 mana.

 

4. 

  • Name: Merciless Eviction
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Gatecrash
  • Reason for Nomination: Because you never know what you'll need to sweep.

 

5. 

  • Name: Pernicious Deed
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Apocalypse
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the best tool to sweep away fast swarms, or pretty much anything else.

 

6. 

  • Name: Supreme Verdict
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Return to Ravnica
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's the ultimate Wrath of God for control decks, in control-heavy metas.

 

7. 

  • Name: Worldpurge
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Birthplace: Shadowmoor
  • Reason for Nomination: Because it's a soft reset button.

 Honorable Mentions: Gaze of Granite, Novablast Wurm, Realm Razer.


Time to cast your vote!

 You can first review specific profiles here: White, Black, Red, Blue or Green, Colorless, Multicolored


And the winners are...!

 Outstanding Mono-White ETB Creature, CMC 5: Reveillark!

 Runner-up: Karmic Guide

 Outstanding Mono-Blue ETB Creature, CMC 5: Mulldrifter!

 Runner-up: Sphinx of Lost Truths

 

 Outstanding Mono-Black ETB Creature, CMC 5: Gray Merchant of Asphodel!

 Runner-up: Shriekmaw

 

 Outstanding Mono-Red ETB Creature, CMC 5: Zealous Conscripts!

 Runner-up: Siege-Gang Commander

 

 Outstanding Mono-Green ETB Creature, CMC 5: Thragtusk!

 Runner-up: Acidic Slime

 

 Outstanding Colorless or Multicolored ETB Creature, CMC 5: Obzedat, Ghost Council!

 Runner-up: The Mimeoplasm

 

 Most Voted Card: Mulldrifter!

 Runner-up: Thragtusk 

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

Check the complete statistics

3 Comments

No Terminus, Balance, by AJ_Impy at Mon, 08/17/2015 - 20:40
AJ_Impy's picture

No Terminus, Balance, Balancing Act, Death Cloud or Restore Balance?

Balance and friends: I didn't by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 08/19/2015 - 05:53
Kumagoro42's picture

Balance and friends: I didn't include them because they aren't used as sweepers, they're used as combo pieces in strategies where you have to set your board accordingly (usually by sacrificing your own permanents) before even casting them. Balance and Wrath of God sometimes accomplish the same thing, but aren't the same type of card.

Death Cloud: Didn't make the cut. It doesn't get used primarily as sweeper (just like Balance, it's more of a build-around-me card) and it doesn't guarantee at all times a sweep of at least a specific subclass of affected permanents (Infest or Slagstorm certainly leave permanent untouched, but they guarantee the sweeping of their chosen subclasses: all creatures with toughness 2, and non-indestructible non-protected non-regenerating creatures with toughness 3, respectively).

Terminus and (as mentioned from Facebook) Hallowed Burial: The tuck effects slipped my mind entirely. My bad. For what it's worth I added them as 11th and 12th mono-white sweeper. Votes already cast can be changed at any time, anyway.

Terminus and Hallowed Burial added by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 08/19/2015 - 06:00
Kumagoro42's picture

As stated in my comment above, Hallowed Burial and Terminus are now added to the mono-white category, and can therefore be voted. Votes already cast can be always changed as usual until the voting process is closed.