There’s no doubt that the six Souls in Magic 2015 are unequivocal bombs. The cards are extremely hard to beat, with each one providing a huge body, an advantage-generating ability, and some post-death value. After finally getting exiled, a soul may have provided value in the four-for-one or five-for-one territory. Left completely unchecked, these cards are capable of winning games on their own.
I’m not the type of player to just shrug my shoulders and accept losing to these monsters. I want to win my drafts, and if my opponent has a Soul, I want to do what I can to beat it, even if it is difficult. Thankfully, these mythics don’t show up super often, but they’re powerful enough that being aware of the cards that beat them during the drafting portion can help us get there a little more often when we do run into them. If possible, I try to have at least one card in my decks that deal with the Souls. So what are those cards?
White has the largest and most powerful arsenal to fight the Souls (which seems a little unfair given that Soul of Theros is the best of the cycle). Devouring Light has proven to be one of the best non-rares in the set, and while it is possible to win with a Soul without ever attacking or blocking with it, you can hopefully force your opponent’s hand and encourage that thing to get into the red zone.
If not, Pillar of Light is a very proactive answer to the Souls, but it’s situational against a lot of the other creatures in the format. Still, I always want to have one at least in the sideboard of my white decks to have a chance against these value-laden fatties.
If your opponent isn’t playing bounce or enchantment removal, Encrust can be one of the best answers to the Souls—except for Soul of Theros, that is. Vigilance is a pain, but Frost Lynx is a combo to shut it down.
Dissipate is a fine answer to the Souls, but you better keep it up at all times once your opponent has reached six mana. If you miss your chance, there is plenty of bounce available, and although running the old bounce-counter plan isn’t typically good from a card advantage standpoint, almost any permanent answer to a Soul is acceptable.
Black doesn’t have any all-in-one answers like white and blue. Rotfeaster Maggot exiling a Soul can be a huge swing in the game, but you’ve got to find a moment when your opponent is tapped out to make that work. And there’s still the question of killing the Soul, although black shouldn’t have too hard a time with that.
If you can hit your opponent’s last two cards with Mind Rot, that will leave only the graveyard activation for the Soul, so that’s…something, but not great, considering Mind Rot is only fringle playable. Endless Obedience on a Soul when they’re tapped out can turn the tables, but if they kill it you’re right back where you started.
Red and Green
Um, there are no direct answers to the Souls in these colors. You’d better have a plan for racing, and if not that, you’d better just hope your opponent doesn’t draw it.
It won’t come up often, but Perilous Vault can answer an on-board Soul. If you know one is in your opponent’s deck, it’s not a bad plan to play the Vault early to have it ready to go before your opponent can fire off an activation. Being a mythic, I wouldn’t count on this being a consistent answer to these cards.
The other option is Tormod’s Crypt, but I think that’s going a little too deep. Even if you have a couple Ensoul Artifacts or Shrapnel Blasts, don’t have any other answers in your deck, and are playing red and/or green, I just don’t think you should be putting Crypt in your deck. It’s not a good card.
Are the Souls hard to beat? Of course. Can you beat them? Absolutely! Be aware of the cards that can answer these adequately and you’re one step ahead of beating your opponents’ bombs. Did I miss any good answers to the Souls in this article? Sound off in the comments with your sweet tech.