What is removal in CCGs?

A card that can destroy or nullify an opponent's card

Hearthstone, Magic: The Gathering (MTG), and other CCG players use the term removal to refer to cards that can destroy or nullify an opponent's in-play cards. The Hearthstone card Polymorph and the MTG card Doom Blade are iconic examples of removal spells.

Removal comes in many varieties. Hard removal spells destroy an opponent's minion, creature, or other card for good, while soft removal spells either bounce, inhibit, or transform the opponent's card without actually destroying it. Continuing the example above, Doom Blade is hard removal, while Polymorph is soft removal.

Many minions and creatures possess effects that allow them to damage, destroy, or otherwise deal with opposing on-board cards. These minions and creatures are also removal. Additionally, some removal can destroy all of an opponent's creatures and/or other on-board cards. These cards are referred to as mass removal, board wipes, or board clears.


If I can just topdeck a removal spell, I think I can win this game
The most iconic MTG removal spell
The most iconic MTG removal spell

Related Slang


Updated July 29, 2021

Removal definition by

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