Of all the five colors in MTG, there is one that stands above all others when it comes to drawing cards: blue. Of the cards I’ll be listing today, these aren’t just some of the best blue draw cards, but some of the most powerful cards in all of MTG’s history. Ready to see some of MTG’s best cards ever?
15. Consecrated Sphinx
Consecrated Sphinx may have the most powerful effect of all the cards we’ll be mentioning today, but the steep mana cost holds it back a bit.
While this creature is in play, it’s virtually impossible for your opponent to get ahead on cards, as you’ll draw two for each one they draw! What’s even more bizarre is in a four-player game where two players each have a Consecrated Sphinx on the table. Both players can effectively draw as many cards as they want! The cycle only stops when one player decides that they’ve had enough.
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Unfortunately, Consecrated Sphinx costs a lot of mana and doesn’t have any protective effects like hexproof. That means it’s vulnerable to removal spells and often won’t draw as many cards as you wish it would.
14. Gitaxian Probe
You may think that Gitaxian Probe costs one mana, but in the vast majority of circumstances, you’ll want to play it for zero mana and pay the two life instead.
When evaluating the power level of a card, it’s always important to keep mana cost in mind. Gitaxian Probe’s ability isn’t ground-breaking; you’re drawing one card (which doesn’t even increase your hand size since it’s only replacing the card you just played), and you look at a player’s hand. But it doesn’t cost any mana, and that makes all the difference!
Looking at a player’s hand is useful, as it lets you know if the coast is clear in the event that you want to play a powerful but vulnerable card. There are also lots of cards, like Young Pyromancer, that trigger an effect whenever you cast a spell. Gitaxian Probe will trigger such effects for zero mana if you have some life to spare.
Thoughtcast’s power level is highly dependent on what other cards are in your deck. Obviously, you’ll be playing this in an artifact deck to reduce its mana cost as much as possible. If you have enough artifacts in play, you’ll be able to draw two cards for only two mana. This allows you to quickly fill your hand back up so you can play even more artifacts!
12. Thought Monitor
Does this card look familiar? Thought Monitor is just the creature version of Thoughtcast. For an extra two mana, you get a 2/2 creature with flying instead, which I think is a great deal. Plus, in the right deck, you can still often cast Thought Monitor for just one mana, although that’s more difficult to pull off.
Even though I consider Thought Monitor to be a better card than Thoughtcast, you’ll often see both of these cards together in the same deck. In fact, there’s a popular deck in Modern and Legacy called 8-Cast, and the name comes from the deck running both four copies of Thought Monitor and four copies of Thoughtcast.
11. Archmage’s Charm
None of Archmage’s Charm’s abilities are super powerful on their own, but the ability to choose between any one of them gives it such versatility that you’ll almost always be happy to have it in your hand. The drawback is its triple-blue mana cost, meaning almost all of your lands in your deck have to tap for blue for you to cast this card reliably.
Control decks in particular love Archmage’s Charm. The best way to take advantage of it is to hold up enough mana to cast this spell, then wait for what your opponent does. If they cast a problematic card, you can counter it and have one less thing to worry about. If they don’t cast anything tricky, you can draw two cards to grow your hand size.
Five mana to draw two cards isn’t great, so it’s Gush’s alternate cost that we’ll be looking at. Returning two lands to your hand may not sound like the best idea, especially since you can only play one per turn. It’s unlikely that you’ll even play Gush in the early game, as your lands will be best spent tapping for mana each turn.
It’s the late game where Gush becomes an all-star. You’ll often end up in a situation where you have plenty of mana to spend, but no cards in your hand. With Gush’s ability, you can draw two cards without having to spend any mana, which lets you have ultra-powerful turns.
This works especially well with Mystic Sanctuary because you’ll be able to return it to your hand and reuse its ability over and over again.
9. Rhystic Study
In theory, it’s possible that Rhystic Study never draws you a card in a game of Magic, but then your opponents are greatly limiting their plays. This effect works best in multiplayer games, such as Commander, where the likelihood of a player choosing to let you draw a card rather than paying the one mana is much higher.
Basically, no matter what your opponents choose to do, Rhystic Study will be super annoying for them to play around, and what’s annoying for your opponents is great for you!
8. Mystic Remora
Mystic Remora and Rhystic Study are similar enchantments, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Mystic Remora has a much lower mana cost and is much harder for your opponents to play around, but it has that pesky cumulative upkeep cost.
(For those of you who aren’t familiar with cumulative upkeep, this effect triggers at the beginning of each of your upkeeps. Each upkeep, you put an age counter on your card, then pay the cumulative upkeep cost for each age counter on it. So, if you’ve had Mystic Remora for three turns now, you have to pay three mana at your next upkeep. If you can’t pay the cost, you must sacrifice your card.)
I like Mystic Remora a bit better since you’re more likely to draw cards off of it, even if the cumulative upkeep effect will eventually force you to sacrifice it.
The next three cards on this list don’t actually increase the size of your hand. However, they massively improve the quality of cards in your hand, and that makes them great contenders for your next blue deck.
Preordain is the first of these cards. Because you get to scry 2 before the draw effect occurs, you get to be highly selective as to what you draw next. Oftentimes, the first card you draw each turn isn’t what you were looking for, and so card selection greatly reduces the risk of this happening. If you find that your deck lacks consistency, then Preordain may just be what you need.
I know, Ponder doesn’t look like a powerful card either. For one mana, you just fiddle with the top of your library, then draw a card. Well, it turns out that fiddling with the top of your library and then drawing a card for one mana is actually quite powerful!
Imagine you’re searching for the perfect card (again). You know it’s in your deck somewhere, but you just need to draw it. Theoretically, Ponder gives you four chances to find it: three by looking at the top three cards of your library, and one more in case you want to shuffle them all away and draw after.
Because Ponder gives you four chances instead of Preordain’s three, I’m ranking it one spot higher. That being said, the two cards are at a similar power level and are often found in the same deck.
Brainstorm, in the hands of an inexperienced player, may not be all that good. Like some of the previously mentioned cards on this list, Brainstorm doesn’t even increase your hand size. Rather, it manipulates the card quality within your hand to suit whatever situation you may face.
There are ways to make Brainstorm even better than it already is, and that’s where most of its power comes from. After you draw three cards, you’ll likely put the two worst cards in your hand on top of your library. Unfortunately, you’ll have to draw them over the next two turns, so you’ll be stuck with those two bad cards regardless.
Unless you shuffle your library, that is! For example, if you play fetch lands like Polluted Delta, you can play Brainstorm, draw three cards, put your two worst cards on top of your library, then shuffle them away by activating Polluted Delta’s ability. That way, you’ll still have a chance of drawing better cards on your following turns.
This whole interaction of shuffling your library after you play Brainstorm is very common, and one of the main reasons to play this blue spell. Keep in mind that Brainstorm will make your games a whole lot more complicated, but if you feel like you’re up for the task, go for it!
4. Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Only one of Jace, the Mind Sculptor’s abilities lets you draw cards, but that one ability alone is enough to make him a force to be reckoned with. Remember when I mentioned how powerful Brainstorm can be if played correctly? Well, Jace the Mind Sculptor’s second planeswalker ability is basically a free Brainstorm every single turn!
Of course, four mana is a much steeper investment than Brainstorm’s single-mana cost, so Jace really only pays off in the long run. If you can get him to stick around for a couple of turns though, you’ll most likely run away with the game.
3. Treasure Cruise
Eight mana to draw three cards may seem like a steep mana cost, but once you see the delve keyword, everything about Treasure Cruise changes. Magic’s designers must have underestimated the power of delve, because when the Khans of Tarkir set released, several of its cards were soon banned from several formats due to being too powerful. Treasure Cruise is one of those cards.
You see, filling up your graveyard in MTG is easier than it seems, which means Treasure Cruise will often cost as little as one mana. One mana! Talk about a powerful card…
2. Dig Through Time
That’s right, we’ve got another delve card, and this one’s also from the same set as Treasure Cruise. For a slightly higher mana cost (you’ll have to pay a minimum of two mana, no matter how many cards you exile from your graveyard), you only get two cards, but you’ve got to remember that quality is often better than quantity.
If you just want a bunch of cards, I’d argue that running Treasure Cruise is your best bet, but if it’s the two perfect cards you’re looking for, Dig Through Time wins by a wide margin. When looking at the top seven cards of your library, you’ll be presented with a lot of options, and chances are whatever key card you’re looking for is there.
Unsurprisingly, just like Treasure Cruise, Dig Through Time is also banned in Modern and Legacy.
1. Ancestral Recall
Ancestral Recall came out with the very first MTG set in existence: Alpha. The power level of cards back then varied a tremendous amount; many cards in Alpha would be deemed too powerful for tournament play, others were outright unplayable.
I think it’s pretty clear which category Ancestral Recall belongs in. Priced anywhere between $3,000 and $8,000, it’s safe to say that this one-mana instant is one of the most powerful Magic cards to ever see print. In fact, of all the cards to have ever existed in MTG (and there are a lot), many would say that Ancestral Recall is the most powerful one of them all.
Given all the other cards I’ve mentioned on this list, I think it’s pretty clear why Ancestral Recall deserves the top spot. It draws a lot of cards and one costs one mana, what more could you ask for?
Before you go…
The best blue card draw cards are so strong that most of the cards I’ve mentioned have been banned in at least one or two formats, so double-check the legality of any card you want to put in your deck first.
Also, just because blue has the most powerful card draw options out there doesn’t mean that other colors don’t have draw cards worth playing! Make sure to check out my rankings of the best card draw options in other colors – black, green, red, white, and colorless.
If building an MTG deck seems like a complex task to you, help is at hand! I’ve got an MTG deckbuilding guide right here that breaks it down into an easy, step-by-step process.
Want some fresh ideas for your next MTG deck? See my Fun MTG Deck Ideas & Themes list!
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Hi, I’m Emily, the tabletop gamer behind My Kind of Meeple. If this article helped you, I’d be honoured if you’d say, “Thanks!” with a £3 coffee on Ko-fi.