Standard’s New, Flexible 5-Mana Sweeper: Cleansing Nova

In almost every Standard format for the last several years, we’ve had a 5-mana white sweeper. Since we’re about to say goodbye to Fumigate, let’s take a look at its successor for the next two years:

The versatility of this card is real—it’s not dead even against U/W Control, or decks with very few creatures, where wrath effects are at their worst.

When I looked at M19 cards, I kept in mind what was rotating out: Kaladesh (hurray!), Aether Revolt, Amonkhet, and Hour of Devastation.

Even though Cast Out, Thopter Arrest, Baffling End, Lifecrafter’s Bestiary, Heart of Kiran (and all other Kaladesh Vehicles) are rotating out, we still have some white enchantment removal like Seal Away and Ixalan’s Binding that are staying, as well as Treasure Map and Crucible of Worlds, which will make this sweeper more versatile than your typical wrath effect.

On the other hand, if you’re playing this card in a deck with Seal Away and Ixalan’s Binding—very likely in decks like U/W Control—this will mostly be a 5-mana sweeper with no upside, which isn’t great.

Fumigate was probably better than this because of the useful life points you were getting back, though it wasn’t a great fit for its Standard format. That was mainly the fault of Vehicles, especially paired with eternalized cards like Earthshaker Khenra and recursive threats like The Scarab God and Rekindling Phoenix. There were also a lot of powerful planeswalkers, such as Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Karn, Scion of Urza, that made it harder to use Wrath of God effect.

We will still have annoying creatures like Rekindling Phoenix and Bone Dragon. We will definitely have more planeswalkers, but we’ll say farewell to Vehicles and eternalize cards, which will make it easier to play Cleansing Nova.

Chromium, the Mutable is a hot topic these days: Flash and hexproof make for a perfect win condition for control decks, especially now that Doomfall rotates. But there’s nothing a good old Wrath of God can’t stop.

Settle the Wreckage and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria will still be around to carry the control flag, but a lot of card draw effects are rotating out, mainly Glimmer of Genius, Hieroglyphic Illumination, and Pull from Tomorrow, leaving us with Divination, Secrets of the Golden City, and not much more.

Powerful win cons like Torrential Gearhulk, The Scarab God, and Approach of the Second Sun also leave, but Chromium, the Mutable could be a good replacement.

A lot of good countermagic is rotating out too: Disallow, Essence Scatter, and Supreme Will depart to leave us with Admiral’s Order, Syncopate, Wizard’s Retort, and Negate.

Therefore, before trying to brew a post-rotation control list, we need to wait for the full M19 spoiler since too many pieces are missing—namely dual lands, with the Irrigated Farmland cycle rotating.

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