Being able to add cards to your hand is almost always a useful ability, especially in games where you end up using all of your resources in one fell swoop. Having a large amount of cards in your hand can completely change the tide of a game. So cards that allow you to draw other cards are extremely valuable. Sadly, not every color is treated fairly when it comes to draw power. Though abilities like that of Rhystic Study are found on vast amounts of blue, green, and black cards, they are scarce in red and white. With that in mind, let’s take a good look at some nifty spells that will give us the powerful card advantage we all want.
Consecrated Sphinx: A 4/6 with flying by itself is okay for six mana, but on top of that you get to draw two cards for every card your opponent draws. This will always keep you ahead of the game, especially in multiplayer EDH, where you can draw two cards for every other player’s draw phase.
Damia, Sage of the Stone: The deathtouch ability is a nice touch, but Damia, Sage of the Stone’s other ability is what really makes her shine. Her ability to rapidly add cards to your hand as long as you have less than seven is heavenly, and her colors allow for some unique combos. Damia, Sage of the Stone is a strong commander and creature that you cannot go wrong with.
Erebos, God of the Dead: Erebos is a neat card that lets you draw an extra card in exchange for one life. There’s almost nothing negative about it, and it should most likely be ran in every black deck that has the space.
Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur: On top of having a similar ability to Damia, Sage of the Stone; Gin-Gitaxias, Core Augur also reduces your opponent’s hands to nothing at the end of their turn. It’s incredibly helpful for control and draw power, so be sure to run it if you have the space.
Mentor of the Meek: One of the few cards in white that can net you some serious draw power. In token decks, or decks with a multitude of small creatures, you can swarm the field while receiving some powerful hand recovery. The only problem is that in order to activate the ability, you have to pay one mana, which makes Mentor of the Meek worse than Mind’s Eye in some situations. Especially if you have used up all of your mana resources. Mentor does have an advantage in white decks, especially token decks, so it is still definitely worth running.
Primordial Sage: Casting mass amounts of creatures is common for green decks, especially those with infinite mana combos. With a combo similar to Heritage Druid, Nettle Sentinel, Cloudstone Curio, and Elvish Mystic; you can easily cast creatures over and over again in order to draw cards with Primordial Sage, while also having an infinite mana source in order to use and abuse your enlarged hand.
Regal Force: Regal Force isn’t the toughest creature out there, but in aggro decks that spam creatures or tokens, it can be extremely helpful when you need to dig for answers or threats. Just be sure that you don’t have to discard anything at the end of your turn.
Dark Confidant: Dark Confidant is a very powerful creature that allows you to draw an extra card every turn in exchange for an amount of life equal to that card’s converted mana cost. Dark Confidant is run in a lot of midrange decks, and can provide a lot of card advantage over the course of a game.
Jace Beleren/Jace, the Mind Sculptor: Both of these forms of Jace allow for reliable card advantage ever turn. Jace Beleren allows you to either share the love with his first ability, or keep all of the cards for yourself with his second. Jace, the Mind Sculptor is a bit different, as it allows you to draw three cards at a time and then put two cards that you don’t need back on top of your library. Jace the Mind Sculptor can also completely erase your opponent’s library, so be sure to run him if you think you can pull off his ultimate, just know that in order to build up his loyalty counters, you won’t be able to use his draw ability.
Dack Fayden: The Greatest Thief in the Multiverse is also one of the best planeswalker draw engines in the game. He allows a player to draw two cards a turn! Even though you have to discard two cards as well, drawing two cards a turn is no laughing matter. He can help find combos and answers really quickly.
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage: Tamiyo allows you to draw a card for each tapped creature an opponent controls. While the ability is a bit situational, it can be very powerful against certain decks.
Kiora, the Crashing Wave: Kiora provides an effective draw ability that can be used multiple turns in a row. While her ability is not as powerful as Jace, Dack, or Tamiyo, she can still be very useful an any blue-green deck looking for extra card draw. Not to mention she has other very relevant abilities that can also be used.
Chandra, Torch of Defiance: Chandra’s draw ability is more of a psuedo draw ability, but it is still very powerful, and allows you to burn through your library and find answers much quicker. Narset Transcendent also has a similar selective ability that can be very useful at times.
Sorceries & Instants
Blue Sun’s Zenith/Stroke of Genius: Not only can these two cards provide useful one-time card advantage, but they also can be used with an infinite combo in order to mill a player out. Unlike Prosperity or Brain Geyser, these two cards can be used at any time, and Blue Sun’s Zenith goes back into the deck for reuse, so you can instantly destroy a single opponent with one single spell.
Ambition’s Cost/Ancient Craving/Night’s Whisper/Read the Bones/Sign In Blood: All of these cards are similar, in which the user gets to draw cards, but then loses a few points of life in return. They are all a nifty group of cards that can help any black deck with some one-time card advantage. Think of it like a cheaper Harmonize that’s black and stabs you in the foot.
Faithless Looting & Tormenting Voice: Both of these cards can be really good at getting extra card advantage in red. They do have the downside of being forced to discard cards as well, however some decks can make that work to their advantage.
Decree of Pain: A nice board-wipe that also allows for some recovery in the form of draw power. The mana cost is somewhat high, but it’s a great deal for what the card does. You can also cycle it in order to have a slightly cheaper board-wipe, but if you want a normal board-wipe, just use Damnation.
Harmonize: A basic green card that allows for some nice one-time card advantage. If you have enough mana it can be good, but at other times there will be better green cards to nab some extra draw power. The card is really useful if you get it off, and most green decks have enough mana to do so.
Prosperity/Brain Geyser: Another one-time card advantage card, except this one lacks the life loss. Simple, but good. Being able to draw however many cards you want is extremely useful. Also, since Prosperity targets all players, you could end up milling all of your opponents and winning the game instantly.
Ponder: Being able to see what you get before you get it, with the addition of drawing an extra card is definitely a beneficial ability. Ponder does just that, for only one mana. It’s low cost is great and it’s ability is even greater.
Some cards similar to Ponder are:
- Serum Visions
- Gitaxian Probe
- Chart a Course
- Thought Scour
- Dig Through Time
- Treasure Cruise
Reforge the Soul/Wheel of Fate/Wheel of Fortune: The card advantage in red is disappointing, especially since all of these cards do almost the exact same thing. Wheel of Fortune is the best of the three, as it has a lower mana cost and can be played immediately. Unlike Wheel of Fortune, Wheel of Fate requires you to wait a few turns before it activates, and Reforge the Soul costs almost double the amount. Being able to force other players to discard cards can be good, just make sure that they are playing something that lacks reanimating abilities and that the second ability of drawing seven cards afterwards doesn’t accidentally help them.
Syphon Mind: Though this card can be a bit worse than other black cards that were mentioned beforehand, Syphon Mind is great in multiplayer formats. Being able to force multiple other players to discard resources and getting more resources yourself is never a bad ability.
Bident of Thasa/Sword of Fire and Ice: If you’re running a deck with creatures that you aren’t afraid of throwing at your opponent, then these cards are for you. Drawing a card every time you attack is nice, but Sword of Fire and Ice also has the added benefit of protection from red and blue, while also giving your own creature a nice buff. Sword of Fire and Ice is colorless as well, so it can be run in any deck regardless of color. Bident of Thasa isn’t as good, but the ability to force your opponent to attack can be useful in order to help take out annoying blockers and utility creatures.
Mind’s Eye: Your opponent will most likely draw a card each turn. This makes it so that you can pay one mana each turn to add a new card to your hand. Simple, but extremely impactful.
Skullclamp: If you are running a large amount of small creatures with only 1 toughness, this is the card for you. Even if you aren’t, this card is still useful as long as you are willing to get rid of your own creatures. Simply equip this card to a small creature and watch it die as you get to draw two more cards. This does have some drawbacks as you do need a creature to die in order to get the card advantage, but having +1/-1 can be helpful for a beater that has enough toughness to spare anyways.
Staff of Nin: Being able to draw an extra card each turn is useful. Just like Mind’s Eye, it’s simple but effective. It can even deal one damage each turn in case you wish to slowly burn your opponent out or you need to deal some extra damage to a creature that blocked you this turn. Staff of Nin can be costly, but its abilities are definitely worth the price.
Sensei’s Divining Top: This is perhaps one of the best artifact card advantage spells you could play. It fits in almost any deck, lets you dig through the top three cards of your library, and has a replacement ability that allows you to draw an extra card by putting the top on top of your library. It is a very powerful card overall. Also, its fun to say “I’ll put top on top.”
Dark Prophecy: Dark Prophecy is a great recovery option if you’re playing against a person who enjoys destroying your small creatures, as it allows you to draw a card for each one that dies. Also, it pairs wonderfully with a deck that sends cards to the graveyard since you can draw a card every time you destroy one of your own cards.
Greed: Literally Erebos but in enchantment form. Greed can be really useful, as the cost is low for reusable draw power and there are spells in black that allow you to recover life.
Mystic Remora: Mystic Remora is a cheap way of being able to draw cards fast, especially if your opponent doesn’t have four mana to stop its ability each time it activates. Not only can Mystic Remora draw you cards, but it can also drain your opponent’s mana resources, just make sure that you have enough mana for the cumulative upkeep each turn.
Necropotence: Though Necropotence does allow you to technically draw an infinite amount of cards for one life each, it has a major problem. The delay of waiting a turn before you can use the card(s) you exiled is a pain since you lack a draw phase. Also, unlike other cards that grant draw power in exchange for life, Necropotence’s cost can rack up quickly as you have to pay life each time you want to add a card to you hand.
Phyrexian Arena: Like Necropotence, Phyrexian Arena requires you to lose a life each turn for extra draw power. Unlike Necropotence, it gives you your draw phase and an extra card during the upkeep instead of relying on your opponents to be nice for a turn so you can get your cards next turn with Necropotence. It also doesn’t require more than one life per turn, but unlike Greed and Erebos, the ability isn’t optional, so be sure that you have some life gain cards to make sure you don’t run out of life points.
Rhystic Study: The love child of Mystic Remora and Mind’s Eye. Being able to draw a card each time your opponent casts a spell is a great advantage, and since Rhystic Study is blue, its controller is bound to be able to set up some sort of infinite mana combo to draw a mass amount of cards.
Sylvan Library: I am contractually obligated to tell you that Sylvan Library is a good card. It allows you to scry while also paying life in order to add some extra cards to your hand. Sylvan Library is probably one of the best card advantage spells in green, and I’m not just saying that because of the name of this site.
There are all sorts of spells in MTG that allow for some easy and serious card advantage. Sadly, both red and white lack reliable amounts of card advantage. Hopefully in the future we’ll see some new tools that the other colors can use, but for now green, blue, and black have the monopoly on spells that give draw power.
How do you feel about cards that allow you to draw more cards? How do you think it would impact the game if red and white got some draw power? Leave any thoughts, suggestions, and concerns in the comments below. Also, be sure to support us on Patreon so that we can continue to write articles!