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Last Breath
by Valerio Ferrari

Lately I had my attention drawn by a card that is seldom used and from a not-so-recent set; however I think it can be quite effective these days…..


LAST BREATH (Mercadian Masques, Uncommon)



Remove target creature with power 2 or less from the game. Its controller gains 4 life.

Okay obviously I’ll talk about type II, there’s no need to waste time explaining why this card is useless in type 1.x/Extended and why Swords to Plowshares is way better, so I’ll stick to the Standard environment.

I think LB is best suited for a G/W BlastoGeddon deck (like the one I’ve put at the bottom of this article); let’s see what creatures this decks wants to eliminate….

  LB helps BlastoGeddon to get rid of annoying critters like Rebels, Nether Spirit and Blinding Angels. An early LB can slow down the rebel engine, buying time to recruit your own army; it makes sure that the pesky Nether Spirit will never come back from the grave to bother you; and it kills the dreaded Blinding Angel, who could otherwise shut down your attacks and make your fatties useless.

I know someone will start complaining now about the fact that LB gives life to your opponent and it can’t handle Blastos and Idols….. ok then LB is useless against Fires or in a mirror match?

No. LB can kill River Boas, a Bird or a Thornscape Familiar, once again slowing down the opposing deck. And if you desperately need life, you can always boot a Bird or an Elf of yours out of play.

Now let’s see what other removal spells G/W  has at his disposal….

  Exile: nice card, kill an offending creature, gain life…. Except that it can’t target white creatures! No rebels? No Angels?!? Bah. And what if a Nether Spirit is keeping your Blasto at bay? Whit LB you will heal your opponent, then will be able to attack for 15.

Tappers (Benalish Trapper, Thornscape Apprentice): while not technically removal spells,  they can put to sleep almost anything; however, tappers are creatures, and creatures are easily disposed of; moreover, tappers won’t do the job the turn they come into play.

Parallax Wave: this wonderful enchantment clears the board at once, allowing you to win almost instantly, but it cost 2 colored mana on a total of 4; the wave should be used in the middle-game against bigger threats; I’m talking about the early turns, when LB is more effective.

Finally, G/W decks can splash red for removal (Ancient Hydra, Rhystic Lightning); personally, I prefer to rely on targeted removal instead of damage-based  removal.

  Now the question is: should I keep LB in my sideboard or should I run it in the main deck? It depends on your local environment. However, with the abundance of rebels nowadays, to keep a couple of LB in your deck would be a good bet; have a look at this deck:




4 Blastoderms
2 River Boas
4 Llanowar Elves
3 Thornscape Familiars
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Ancient Hydras
1 Fleetfoot Panther
1 Noble Panther
1 Shivan Wurm


2 Tangle Wire
4 Chimeric Idols


2 Parallax Waves
4 Armaggeddons
2 Disenchants
2 Wax/Wane
2 Last Breath

Lands :

1 Rith’s Grove
4 Brushlands
4 Karplusan Forests
2 Rishadan Ports
4 Plains
7 Forests

Sideboard: Feel free to customize your own sideboard; I recommend Earthquake against Rebels, Orim’s Chant & Kavu Chamaleon against Control decks and Light of Day against Nether Spirits.

Ok I’m done here. Now go out there and smash your opponent with your army of fatties. You deserve it.

P.S. Actually I don’t like the name “Last Breath”. It should be named “Die, Blinding Angel, DIE!!!!” or something like that. Luckily, I don’t work at WOTC…..

Valerio Ferrari,