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15 Best Red Card Draw Cards in MTG!

When it comes to red card draw in MTG, red has a slightly different approach than the other colors. Rather than simply drawing cards with no downside or restriction (something that blue does best), red will attach certain conditions to its card draw.

Typically, sources of red card draw will either come with the downside of forcing you to discard cards from your hand, or by exiling cards from the top of your library instead and only allowing you one or two turns to cast them. As you’ll soon see, however, many of these downsides can be mitigated in the right deck. Let’s take a look at the best red draw cards in MTG!

red mtg cards and draw deck
Hand of red MTG cards and library

15. Jaya Ballard

Jaya Ballard mtg card

Today, we have a planeswalker starting our list. Jaya Ballard‘s second ability is a cheap way to discard cards that aren’t useful and draw new ones instead. You can swap out up to three cards this way, all while powering up Jaya.

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Jaya’s third ability allows you to cast instants and sorceries from your graveyard. While not exactly a card draw, it does give you access to more cards than are in your hand. Perhaps you can even cast the cards you swapped out earlier!

14. Act on Impulse

Act on Impulse

Act on Impulse costs three mana and it requires you to play its cards the turn they’re exiled. However, there are no color restrictions, so you can play cards of other colors, or no colors (such as lands).

This is a card that you’ll want to play when you have plenty of mana available to increase your chances of getting full value. In the right deck, Act on Impulse can come in handy, but you’ll typically find that there are better options waiting for you.

13. Thrill of Possibility

thrill of possibility mtg card

Now we’re starting to discard cards from our hand. If you do the math, you’ll notice that this card doesn’t increase your hand size – if you play Thrill of Possibility and discard a card, your hand size decreases by two, and then you draw two cards to replace them.

Ox of Agonas

This effect can still be useful, though. While Thrill of Possibility won’t increase the card quantity of your hand, it could increase the card quality of your hand if you discard a card you weren’t going to use anyway. Plus, some cards (such as Ox of Agonas, which we’ll see later down this list [spoiler!]), work better from your graveyard, so discarding them won’t even feel like a downside.

12. Big Score/Unexpected Windfall

Big Score (or Unexpected Windfall, which is basically the same card) are like the previous entry, but with the additional upside of creating two Treasure tokens. Typically, the extra cost for the Treasure tokens is worth it, as it gives you more mana flexibility later down the line.

Thrill of Possibility can sometimes be the better pick in certain decks, so which card you choose is more of a judgement call.

11. Galvanic Relay

Galvanic Relay

You might think that Galvanic Relay is similar to Act on Impulse, and it is. However, a few minor (but very important) differences earn it a higher spot on this list.

First, Galvanic Relay makes you play the exiled cards on your next turn, not the current turn, so you’ll be slightly less pressed for mana. Second, it has the storm mechanic, which copies the spell for each spell cast before it.

This gives Galvanic Relay a higher potential upside than Act on Impulse, as you can chain spells like Pyretic Ritual and Manamorphose to boost up your storm count, that way you’ll have plenty of cards to play for your next turn.

10. Light Up the Stage

Light Up the Stage

Light Up the Stage gives you a more flexible window to play its exiled cards, as you can play them either this turn or the next. It costs three mana, but the spectacle cost is what makes this sorcery really shine. If you find a way to damage your opponent, either through combat damage or with a damage spell (such as Lightning Bolt), you can play this spell for only one red mana, which is quite the bargain.

9. Cathartic Reunion

Cathartic Reunion

Cathartic Reunion is like Thrill of Possibility, only you have to discard two cards instead and you get to draw three. While it may not seem like much of an upgrade, this additional discard and draw really shines in decks that want to discard plenty of cards.

Imagine you have copies of Prized Amalgam and/or Bloodghast in your hand. Rather than pay mana for them, you’ll want to send them directly from your hand to the graveyard and then have them enter play via their abilities.

8. Bedlam Reveler

Bedlam Reveler

In some situations, Bedlam Reveler can be really bad. But in the right deck, this card is amazing.

Let’s take a look at the mana cost first. Eight is pretty steep, especially for a 3/4 creature, but since it costs {1} less for each instant and sorcery card in your graveyard, it can be cast for as low as two red mana. That’s a great rate if you ask me. Just make sure you fill your deck with instants and sorceries!

Since your deck will be full of instants and sorceries anyway, that prowess ability can grow it into a 4/5, 5/6, or something waaay bigger depending on how many cards you can play in a turn. This card just keeps getting better and better.

But what we’re really here for is that draw ability. Discarding your entire hand and only drawing three may not seem like a good idea if you have seven cards in your hand, but if your hand’s empty, then there’s hardly a downside at all!

7. Ox of Agonas

Ox of Agonas

Remember when I said that some cards want to be discarded? Well, Ox of Agonas is one of them. As a five-mana 4/2 that discards your hand and draws three cards, the Ox is okay. What makes it great, however, is that escape ability, which lets you cast it directly from the graveyard so long as you can find eight other cards to discard.

I wouldn’t recommend putting Ox of Agonas in just any deck, though. It only works well in decks that discard plenty of cards and have other cards that work well from the graveyard. So long as your deck meets those conditions, this card should be a star player!

6. Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Chandra, Torch of Defiance‘s “draw” ability lets you exile the top card of your library and cast it right away. Note that you can’t play lands that you exile off the top of your library, since the ability says “cast,” and lands are played, but you can still cast cards of any color. Plus, if you don’t end up casting the card you exiled, then you at least get to deal 2 damage to each opponent.

In addition, Chandra, Torch of Defiance’s other three abilities are likely to come in handy too. She can either serve as mana ramp, creature removal, or, if you save up for her ultimate ability, you can deal 5 damage to any target every time you cast a spell, which is bound to win you the game quickly.

5. Seasoned Pyromancer

Seasoned Pyromancer

Seasoned Pyromancer may seem underwhelming at first, but don’t underestimate the value it can generate for you over the course of a single game. If your hand is empty, it can help you refill it, and if you already have lots of cards in hand, you can discard the bad ones and create some 1/1 tokens.

Plus, if Seasoned Pyromancer is sitting in your graveyard later on in the game, either because of combat or because you discarded it, you can activate its ability to create even more 1/1 tokens. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

4. Jeska’s Will

Jeska's Will

Jeska’s Will is at its best in the Commander format, one of the only formats where you can have your commander in play. Jeska’s Will is basically a copy of Act on Impulse, but with the option of adding a bunch of red mana to your mana pool instead. If you control your commander, you can choose both options.

These two abilities actually work really well together, as the mana ability will give you the necessary resources to play the three cards you just exiled off the top of your library.

3. Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune is considered a symmetric effect because it affects all players at the table in the same way. The trick, of course, is to play it in a situation where it benefits you more than any of your opponents.

Let’s say that your hand is empty (except for the Wheel of Fortune in your hand), and your opponent’s hand has seven cards. When you play it, your hand will fill back up to seven cards, but your opponent’s hand size won’t have changed – only its contents will be different. In this case, Wheel of Fortune will be way better for you than for them.

Narset, Parter of Veils

There’s also a really nifty combo involving Wheel of Fortune and Narset, Parter of Veils. Since Narset’s ability states that your opponents can’t draw more than one card per turn, Wheel of Fortune will force them to discard their entire hand and only draw one back, while you draw the full seven! Your opponents may still be mad at you for doing this even after the game ends!

2. Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer

Ragavan is one of the most powerful one-cost creatures in MTG. Some would even say it’s one of the most powerful creatures in MTG, period.

For Ragavan to work, though, he has to deal combat damage to your opponent. So long as you can pull that off (not too difficult considering its dash ability, which we’ll talk about later), you’ll get to create a Treasure token and exile the top card of your opponent’s library, which you can cast until end of turn.

The Treasure token is super useful just in case your opponent’s cards are of colors your lands can’t produce. Plus, there’s something so satisfying about using your opponent’s cards against them to win the game.

Oh, and of course, there’s the dash ability to talk about. You can always keep Ragavan in your hand and take your opponent completely by surprise by dashing it in on your turn. Just something to keep in mind when you want to deal combat damage with this little Monkey Pirate.

1. Faithless Looting

Faithless Looting

And for the best red piece of card draw in Magic, we have Faithless Looting! I know, this isn’t the flashiest card on this list, but it does a simple job and it does it well.

For only one mana (or three, if you want to cast it from your graveyard), you draw two cards and discard two. It won’t increase your hand size, but if you’re looking for a key card from your deck, Faithless Looting will bring you closer to finding it.

Plus, this works well with discard-friendly cards, such as Hollow One and Ox of Agonas. Also, since Faithless Looting has flashback, you can discard it with other cards on this list and cast it from your graveyard instead.

Before you go…

Those were, in my opinion, the 15 best card draw cards in red. Many of these cards are situational and require the proper deck to perform well, so don’t just take any card on this list and put it in your deck! As with all cards, consider their strengths and weaknesses and consider whether they align well with your deck.

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.

Running a multicolor deck? See my best card draw lists for the other colors – blue, green, black, and white.

Want some fresh ideas for your next MTG deck? See my Fun MTG Deck Ideas & Themes list!

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Emily
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.

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