March of the Machine card reveals have been coming in thick and fast, so it can be hard to keep track of everything going on with the set. From the brand new Battle cards, to the powerful Praetors and the top-notch tag teams.
One card that’s provoking some discussion is Sunfall, a new White Board Wipe. Although there are certainly plenty of White Board Wipes out there, Sunfall does enough to stand out from the pack and make itself notable.
The Rise of Sunfall
Sunfall is a brand new White Board Wipe. It was spoiled on the Game Square TCG Facebook page on April 1st, 2023. The archetypal White Board Wipe has always been [tooltip]Wrath of God[/tooltips], a card that debuted all the way back in Alpha and Sunfall forms an interesting comparison with it.
Wrath of God destroys every creature in play for four mana. It also prevents them from regenerating, although this is rarely relevant since no new cards with Regenerate have been printed since Oath of the Gatewatch in January of 2016. Wrath of God is a powerful and effective card that serves as the standard against which all other board wipes are measured. Compared to Wrath of God, Sunfall does cost an additional mana, however, it Exiles all of the creatures in play, rather than merely destroying them (coincidentally meaning that it also kills creatures with Regenerate). Sunfall also produces an Incubator token with a number of +1/+1 counters on it equal to the number of creatures exiled with its effect. While slightly more pricey, Sunfall provides significantly more value for its cost.
There are some other cards that form natural comparisons with Sunfall, namely: Phyrexian Rebirth and Farewell. In an inversion of the situation with Wrath of God, both of these cards cost one more mana than Sunfall. Phyrexian Rebirth is arguably a worse card, as it only destroys cards, meaning that it can’t remove your opponent’s indestructible Creatures and that everything it destroys can be returned to play from the graveyard. While the Phyrexian Horror created by Phyrexian Rebirth does come into play straight away, unlike the Incubator token which first needs to transform for two mana, this slim upside is, arguably, not enough to outweigh the myriad advantages that Sunfall has over Phyrexian Rebirth.Farewell is more tricky to compare with Sunfall. Farewell is a modal card, meaning that it has the option of exiling all creatures in play, alongside exiling every Artifact or Enchantment in play, alongside exiling everyone’s graveyards. The player casting Farewell can activate as many, or as few, of these modes as they wish to While Farewell does not generate an Incubator token, and does cost an additional point of mana, it is likely more useful in most contexts given its increased versatility and the larger number of card types it can remove.
One thing is certain, with this card in Standard, Mono-Red aggro decks and Azorius or Mono-White Soldier decks will need to watch out. There are now many viable White Board wipes in Standard alongside this card right now. From Farewell, to White Sun’s Zenith, to By Invitation Only. Remember to pace yourself, when playing against an opponent running White, account for the fact that they have the potential to destroy your board in the midgame and try to play around this. Ensure you don’t overextend yourself and hold onto a creature or two if you are already dominating the board.
Sunfall Community Thoughts
Sunfall has generated a lot of discussion in the MTG Community, particularly on Reddit.
The user AccountIsTaken writes: “White is going to lose their boardwipes with farewell and depopulate rotating out in September. For now sunfall won’t really mean much but it is probably in a good place come rotation.”
VG Protaganist writes: “This card is incredibly powerful. Should not be underestimated; will likely help the WU/x Control decks in Standard a lot; not only do you get a reasonably-priced Wrath effect, but it exiles (which is huge on its own honestly), but it gives you a real weapon to fight the opposing deck with post-wrath; if you hit like, a chump 2-3 mana creature on your side, and hit like, 3-4 things on your opponents side, you are basically netting a future beatstick on a future turn for just a little mana.”
I know, it’s likely not all that and a ham sandwich, but its a very good card that will definitely see play in Standard.”
Some players seem worried that too many Exile based removal effects are being printed.
StellarStar1 writes: “I am so tired of exile based removal. Slow power creep that pushes creatures to be stronger which again causes spells to be stronger.”
Merret123 writes: “I hate how commonplace exile boardwipes are now.”
Finally, many players seem to be dreading encountering this card in Limited.
Tethros writes: “Very much looking forward to losing many games of limited from a winning position when my opponent rips this off the top.”
A sentiment which Pokefan144 agrees with: “I’m excited to play this in limited and not at all excited to have it played against me.”
Board Wipes fulfill an important role in MTG. In one vs one constructed formats, they are a useful tool for Control players to prevent themselves from being overwhelmed and overrun before their plans can come together. In Commander, Board Wipes provide players with the ability to clear up a chaotic game state and prevent Commanders like Krenko, Mob Boss, and Lathril, Blade of the Elves from flooding the board with creatures and spiraling out of control.
Sunfall joins a crowded niche filled with many powerful cards. While Sunfall is certainly no Meathook Massacre or Cyclonic Rift, it’s a good enough card that it deserves to see some play.