"Wrath of God"
is a white Magic: The Gathering sorcery
card. Part of the original Alpha
set of cards printed in 1993
, Wrath of God has been reprinted in every edition of the Core Set
since, most recently in Tenth Edition
. In each edition, it has always been printed at the "rare" level of rarity.
Wrath of God was one of the first of an informal class of cards known as "board-clearers" or "reset buttons", that remove all of a certain type of card from play.
Effect and strategy
Wrath of God's effect is simple, but powerful: when it is played, all creatures
in play are destroyed and moved to the graveyard
(discard pile). Additionally, creatures that could normally escape death through regeneration
cannot avoid Wrath of God in this way (although other methods of evasion are possible; for example, it can't kill indestructible creatures).
As it destroys all players' creatures, even that of the player who cast Wrath of God, it is most advantageous when the player using it has no creatures to lose. It is a staple of white Control decks, and was used in World Championship-winning decks in 2003 (Daniel Zink's "Wake" deck) and 2004 (Julien Nuijten's "Slide" deck).
Wrath of God has been printed with four different versions of its art. The original, by Quinton Hoover
, was used from Alpha
to Sixth Edition
. For Seventh Edition
, new art by Kev Walker
was commissioned, which has been used in all subsequent editions. The version of Wrath of God found in the beginners' set Portal
has art by Mike Raabe
. Additionally, a special textless version of Wrath of God, with artwork by Ron Spencer
filling most of the card, was given away in 2006
as part of the Magic Player Rewards program.
The text describing Wrath of God's effect printed on the card differs slightly in different editions, but all are intended to convey the same thing and are played identically.
| Alpha, Beta, Unlimited
|| All creatures in play are destroyed and cannot regenerate. |
|| All creatures in play are buried |
| 4th & 5th Edition
|| Bury all creatures. |
|| Put all creatures into their owners' discard piles. (This includes your creatures.) |
| 6th – 10th Edition
|| Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated. |
Wrath of God has normally been printed without any additional flavor text, "to emphasize [its] simple and iconic nature". Magic's creators believe that this "lends itself to a more powerful, clean, and easy to read visual that many players appreciate". However, the Portal version was printed with a famous quote from William Shakespeare's play King Lear as its flavor text:
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport.
version of Wrath of God, named "Damnation", was printed in 2007
in the Planar Chaos
set. Damnation is identical to Wrath of God except in requiring black mana
instead of white. The card has white text and a distinct frame to indicate that it has been "colorshifted" to black. Damnation's art was also done by Kev Walker
, and was based on his art for Wrath of God: while Wrath of God "shows people and debris being blown away from a sphere of light", Damnation "shows people and debris being sucked into a sphere of darkness".