Illustrated by Lie Setiawan
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Core Set 2021

Limited formats will generally involve the same common gameplay effects which show up again and again. Use this guide to find out what common effects are in - and not in! - this format.

Core Set 2021 Mechanics/Themes

Board Wipes
Effects that can kill all creatures on the battlefield.
No true board wipes are in Core Set 2021 outside of Ugin - an 8-drop Mythic Rare.
Besides Ugin, these board wipes all destroy based on toughness - either 1 or 2.
Effects that return cards to their owners hand.
Tempo is a huge decider for M21 games, so bounce is a valuable effect.
Effects that can counter your spells.
Counterspells in M21 are somewhat rare. Watch out for Lofty Denial!
Effects that can force you discard cards from your hand.
Bad Deal is a bad deal. Mind Rot is present in the format, but it is not a good strategy due to the aggressive nature of M21.
Effects that destroy artifacts or enchantments.
There are several free ways to destroy artifact and enchantments, so beware.
Effects that make it so multiple creatures temporarily cannot block.
Despite M21's aggressive nature, there are no real falter effects. Destructive Tampering is usually not worth a maindeck slot.
Effects that prevent combat damage for multiple or all creatures.

No cards in this format have this effect!

Effects that can grant haste to creatures, or creatures that have haste.
Despite being an aggressive format, most creatures do not have haste.
Mana Ramp
Effects that ramp mana.
Ramp is usually not a common strategy in M21, which is fairly aggressive.
Llanowar Visionary is a top pick on its own.
Mass Pump
Effects that pump all of a player's creatures.
There is no overrun type effect in M21.
While mass pump is not supported, there is a +1/+1 counter theme and a Prowess theme - so watch out!
Effects that can kill creatures with 1 toughness.
There are a couple - but not many - free ping effects, so watch out for your X/1 creatures. Skeleton Archer is quite playable maindecks!
Effects that can mill your opponent's deck.
Even though Teferi's Tutelage is the only true mill card, it is an engine all on its own... beware!
Mind Control
Effects that steal your permanents, permanently.
Enthralling Hold can be a blowout - watch out!
Effects that steal your creatures temporarily and grant them haste.
Most formats have this effect at common, but M21 only has one at uncommon.

Core Set 2021 Mechanics/Themes

Theme: 4+ Power
4+ power creatures has some synergistic payoffs in Red-Green.