Excise the Imperfect
Excise the Imperfect

Excise the Imperfect – March of the Machine Commander

Date Reviewed:  April 28, 2023

Constructed: 3.13
Casual: 3.63
Limited: N/A
Multiplayer: 3.50
Commander [EDH]: 3.75

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


This might cause some raised eyebrows, but I’ve never believed there was anything wrong with white’s color pie. I do tend to agree, though, that Wizards of the Coast’s designers fell into bad habits about not expressing certain parts of the color’s personality. “Remove something, give something in return” designs should be part of the standard type of cards that white gets regularly, and Excise the Imperfect is a good example why. It is aggressively costed, an instant, and incredibly versatile, giving any deck that can cast it a great option against any opponent who plays to the table. The downside will probably make some people gnash their teeth – it’s funny to me how much far some Magic players will go to feel in control – but it’s the kind of thing that cube designers balance formats around, and the risk is mitigated in multiplayer formats where the creature they eventually get isn’t necessarily coming after you. And besides, if you’re a white deck and you can’t deal with creatures, or attack aggressively enough to make it not matter, you’ve got bigger problems!

Constructed: 3
Casual: 3.5
Limited: N/A (has only appeared in a Commander precon so far)
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 3.5

 James H. 


As part of the Commander subset, I’m omitting a Limited score for this card.

An alternative take on a card like Anguished Unmaking or Utter End, Excise the Imperfect replaces a troublesome nonland permanent with a potential new friend. As a reminder, incubate X means that you make an artifact token with X +1/+1 counters on it, and the controller can pay 2 generic mana to awaken the horror contained within. This isn’t irrelevant, and you may sometimes question if it’s worth replacing something with a big, threatening body they can awaken on their next turn…but you are still getting rid of something that needs gotten rid of for three mana, and in mono-white to boot. I think a card like this is bound to at least see some play in Legacy sideboards from time to time, because thwarting a troublesome permanent is good; it’s not a strict upgrade over other three-mana removal spells, like Anguished Unmaking, Council’s Judgment, or Vindicate, but it offers enough intrigue to be worth consideration as part of a removal package. And it can even go into decks that Anguished Unmaking/Vindicate might not be able to slot into, which is also a pro.

As an aside, you can aim this at your own things if they’re doomed and you want a new friend. That probably won’t be the main application of this card, but it is an option if you’re lacking for ways to close out a game.

Constructed: 3.25 (probably not a Legacy star, but I would be surprised if this was wholly unplayed)
Casual: 3.75 (might be a bit riskier here, but still solid enough)
Limited: N/A
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 4 (it’s instant-speed mono-white exile with few conditions, which is an auspicious combination of qualities)

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