What does Removal mean in card games?

A card that can wipe out or make an opponent’s card useless

In the world of collectible card games such as Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering (MTG), ‘Removal’ is a term used to describe cards that can eliminate or neutralize an opponent’s cards that are in play. For instance, the Hearthstone card ‘Hex’ and the MTG card ‘Murder’ are classic examples of removal spells.

There are different types of removal. Hard removal spells completely destroy an opponent’s card like a minion or creature. On the other hand, soft removal spells only impede, transform, or return the opponent’s card to their hand, without completely eliminating it. For example, ‘Murder’ is a hard removal spell, while ‘Hex’ is a soft removal spell.

It is worth noting that there are minions and creatures that have abilities which allow them to attack, eliminate, or otherwise cope with opposing cards in play. These types are also considered removal. There’s also a certain type of removal that can eliminate all of an opponent’s creatures and other cards in play. These are commonly known as mass removal, board wipes, or board clears.

Example for using ‘Removal’ in a conversation

Hey, have you played Hearthstone before?

Yeah, I have! It’s a fun game.

Do you know what ‘Removal’ means in Hearthstone?

Hmm, not really. What does it mean?

‘Removal’ refers to cards that can destroy or nullify your opponent’s cards.

Oh, got it! So, like spells or abilities that get rid of their cards?

Exactly! Cards like Polymorph or any other spells that can remove their minions or creatures.

Ah, I see. So, removal is important to control the board and gain an advantage?

Yes, it can help you take control and turn the game in your favor.