With the snap of a finger, cards are destroyed. No, not the premise of a three-hour long superhero movie, but the description of the keyword Condemn in Artifact. Truth be told, "destroy" is not the most complicated mechanic there is in card games. However, what it lacks in complexity it delivers with power. Condemn is hard target removal able to eradicate even the strongest items, improvements and heroes from the board.
Cards with the Condemn mechanic include the likes of:
- Corrosive Mist
- Smash Their Defenses
Condemn has many applications in a quite a wide range. Condemning a single item card — the mighty Apotheosis Blade has this ability, for example — can give you just that final advantage over your opponent before the combat phase begins. At the very top of the scale there are board-wide Condemn cards that affect every unit. These are best played when you’re overwhelmed and need to push a reset button. Annihilation, the 6-mana blue spell, reigns as king of the mechanic. It condemns all units in play (improvements stay alive) and gives a clean start to both players.
The only counter to Condemn is called "Death Shield", which prevents an item, improvement or hero from dying. So if you expect your opponent to try and obliterate something you want to save, give it a Dead Shield! Important to remember is that Damage Immunity does not block Condemn, as technically creeps and heroes don’t take damage. They just die instantly.