Wash Away – Crimson Vow
Date Reviewed: December 15, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 2.17
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
In the smaller formats, Wash Away is an efficient answer to abilities like disturb and flashback, with another mode or option for later in the game. In that casting, it’s identical to Cancel, which doesn’t show up too much in constructed, but that option obviously makes it more attractive in a metagame where people are casting spells from their graveyard. When you go to larger formats, things get even more interesting. You can use it against cards like Dread Return, although that might not be quite as good as just removing their graveyard. I also thought of Greater Gargadon and similar suspend creatures, though again it’s far from the only option; if your deck is the wrong color to use Power Word Kill, it might be more attractive, and it’s also not dead against creature-light decks. And then, of course, there’s Panglacial Wurm – but I think if anybody manages to pull off Panglacial Wurm, you could maybe cut them a break!
The challenge with countermagic in Standard has long been that Cancel is not good, but Counterspell is arguably too good. Hence the slew of “Cancel with upside” spells, of which Wash Away is one. And it’s quite a nice upside, especially in a set with lots of graveyard casting going on! One mana to thwart anything that wasn’t cast from a hand, while turning into Cancel if you need it, makes for a nicely flexible answer any blue deck wouldn’t strongly object to having, and this will likely pull its weight for its entire Standard run (and make some cameos in deeper formats).
Commander: 3.5 (yes, this works on Commanders)
Wash Away is this set’s Cancel but a tad bit better because for one mana you can counter a spell that was cast from somewhere besides the hand so that means graveyard counters. I don’t really like this card, I think the counterspells in Kaldheim are better for standard, but it couldn’t hurt as a one of in the sideboard if you’re focused on control. I wouldn’t say this is a bad card per say because it is versatile and has multiple uses and at the end of the day it’s no worse than Cancel. Not much more to say about this card, it’s the utility of the set.
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