Lethal Vapors
Lethal Vapors

Lethal Vapors – Scourge

Date Reviewed:  March 29, 2024

Commander [EDH]: 

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

Reviews Below: 


I remember this card featuring regularly on forum discussions’ lists of worst cards in Scourge. I’m not sure why. If you get it out against one or more creature decks that happen to have no creatures in play at that moment, it can be made into a lock. There are definitely ways around it – a not-insignificant number of casual decks run cards like Mortify as a matter of course, and it trades with cards like Reclamation Sage – but it still punishes opponents no matter what they do, and combines well with other pressure in the vein of the better “punisher” cards. I should also note that “any player” includes you, and the destroy ability can be activated at instant speed, meaning that you can stack multiples in response to each other if you ever want to skip multiple turns (similar to Chronosavant from Time Spiral and, in a slower form, Chronatog from Visions). That used to be a win condition in Stasis decks, when the opponent would be forced to draw through their deck (possibly in conjunction with Howling Mine effects) and the Stasis player could avoid the upkeep cost. I don’t think that’s a very common strategy in Commander and modern casual Magic, but can be done.

Constructed: 1.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 3
Multiplayer: 3
Commander [EDH]: 3

 James H. 


Four mana to floodgate most creatures? Interesting enough as a prospect, I suppose. Lethal Vapors is a pretty interesting way to stop a lot of creatures, though it’s not perfect; it only hits creatures yet to hit play, and there are ways to circumvent it (not counting the “trade a turn to blow it up” option).

All the same, the strength of Lethal Vapors is simple: you know it’s coming, and they don’t. You can prepare for it with things like indestructibility or regeneration, and they’re not going to be ready for it (usually). And if they opt to trade a turn to blow it up, then this is a four-mana Time Warp in black, which isn’t so bad a deal.

The trade-off to all of this is that Lethal Vapors is useless against an established board, and you need this out before they start amassing their army. It’s a strong floodgate, but it won’t let the water that’s already escaped back in, and that’s a pretty important distinction. It’s not a great card in the creature-agnostic Legacy format, thanks to it costing four mana, but it’s a bit too nasty to ever come back to Standard.

Constructed: 2
Casual: 4
Limited: 3.5 (Legions was famously a set of all creatures, and it’s part of the same Draft as this card’s one and only outing)
Multiplayer: 3.75
Commander [EDH]: 3.75

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