Last updated on May 15, 2024

Supreme Verdict - Illustration by Sam Burley

Supreme Verdict | Illustration by Sam Burley

Do you know how many Magic: The Gathering cards have been printed over the years? There are almost 50,000 (and counting) unique Magic cards including special variants throughout the game’s 30-year history. Each one with varying values based on how popular they are amongst players.

Budget decks are some of the most popular to build as they don’t break the bank. We’ve curated 85 of the best affordable cards in Magic that offer the most utility and value in various decks and formats. Before we get into the rankings, let’s first jump into an overall definition of what this means, and an exploration of why Magic cards are sometimes expensive.

Table of Contents show

What Are the Best (Affordable) Cards in MTG?

Helm of the Host - Illustration by Igor Kieryluk

Helm of the Host | Illustration by Igor Kieryluk

The best affordable cards in MTG are the strongest and most playable cards for the least monetary value possible. They can be any type of card, from stellar legendary creatures to the greatest card draw spells to the most valuable ramp spells. There are many popular Magic cards that are also affordable so you don’t break the bank obtaining the cards you need to play the game!

The pick order for these cards was difficult. However, we based the pick order on card popularity and utility. We were sure to select only the best cards that are $20 and under so you can budget your singles purchases accordingly when upgrading your decks.

Why Are MTG Cards So Expensive?

Magic: The Gathering cards are often expensive because of their rarity, overall popularity, and utility in various competitive metagames. The rarer, more popular, and more useful the card, the more expensive it is.

Rarity is a key component in determining a Magic card’s value, with rares and mythics typically demanding a higher price than commons and commons. High-value cards with few reprints tend to hold their value more than cards with multiple versions.

Megatron - Blightsteel Colossus (front side)

As some cards are reprinted, they’ll become easier to find and drop in price. For example, Blightsteel Colossus from Mirrodin Besieged used to maintain a market price of over $50, and now at the time of writing it’s valued at about $28 due in large part to a reprint in a 2022 Secret Lair Drop.

Clear your shopping cart and let’s go!

#85. Dual-Colored Signets

Signets can be obtained for $3 or less depending on which one you need with Selesnya Signet being the most expensive. They’re some of the best mana rocks for filtering mana into the right colors you need. They continue to be essential for mana filtering and ramp in 2+ color decks.

#84. Talismans

Ranging from $0.50 for the cheapest to $4 for Talisman of Indulgence, the talismans are a more reliable way of producing mana and often get paired up with signets of the same colors.

Talismans can be tapped for mana immediately while signets need a colorless mana to produce mana of their colors. The distinction is small, and you should be happy adding signets or talismans to your deck when you need the fixing and ramp.

#83. Arcane Signet

Arcane Signet

We can’t discuss signets without also mentioning Arcane Signet. This is just as much a Commander ramp staple as Sol Ring, except this mana rock can fix your colors as early as turn two. We’ve all been on the receiving side of a turn-1 Sol Ring + Arcane Signet start, allowing someone to cast a 4- or 5-drop commander on turn two.

#82. Abrupt Decay

Abrupt Decay

What makes Abrupt Decay such an awesome $2.50 Golgari removal spell is that no spells or abilities can counter it. Say goodbye to that scary Sword of Feast and Famine giving your opponent’s creature protection from your deck’s colors. It’s a clean way to remove early-game utility pieces, even if it won’t get every late-game threat your opponents play.

#81. Viscera Seer

Viscera Seer

Viscera Seer is a black 1-drop sacrifice outlet that can see into the future with its instant-speed scry ability. Slot this 25-cent scrying beast into mono-black zombies/vampires or a black-based sacrifice deck and manipulate the top of your deck whenever you want. Free sac outlets make for the best sac outlets.

#80. Mana Elves

Elves go elf-balling one by one! Hurrah! Hurrah!

Elves are the best at going wide with tokens, ramping substantially, and pumping each other up as other elves enter (looking at you, Marwyn, the Nurturer). Mana elves that tap for green mana range from less than a dollar to $6. Circle of Dreams Druid is at the higher end because you can tap it for a substantial amount of mana as you accumulate more creatures on the battlefield.

You have your typical Elvish Mystics and Fyndhorn Elves, but also your high-netting mana dorks like Canopy Tactician and Llanowar Tribe, which can leave you with 7-8 mana on turn three or four. Llanowar Tribe is my personal favorite, often leaving me with 6 mana on turn three in my Ghalta, Stampede Tyrant deck on MTG Arena.

#79. Marwyn, the Nurturer

Marwyn, the Nurturer

Speaking of Marwyn, the Nurturer, you have one of the best elf cards, working as a lord and a payoff for other elves, including tokens. Branching Evolution, Hardened Scales, and Kami of Whispered Hopes can increase how many +1/+1 counters you place on Marwyn, the Nurturer, which allows you to ramp into big win conditions like every green player’s favorite Craterhoof Behemoth. At only $3 per copy, we find this an elfin’ good deal!

#78. Mulldrifter


Mulldrifter is a versatile 50-cent card that can act as a flying blocker plus card draw resource or just card draw with its sorcery-speed evoke ability. Think of it like a Divination with kicker that puts a Wind Drake on board.

Mulldrifter’s at its best when you’re blinking it for extra cards, perhaps with Thassa, Deep-Dwelling at the end of each turn.

#77. Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast

Red Elemental Blast Pyroblast

Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast both have the exact same function of blue card hate for $3 and $4.50 respectively. Blue decks can be tricky between their counterspells and mill effects. Countering a blue spell or destroying a blue permanent is a tad situational, but it’s super effective when used against the right blue control deck

#76. Bootleggers’ Stash

Bootleggers' Stash

Streets of New Capenna unleashed a golden powerhouse for Treasure token decks featuring green: Bootleggers' Stash. It was a $15 card when the set was first released in 2022 and now you can snag it at an affordable price of $5.

This artifact is a great backup ramp resource in any deck but excels in decks that specifically care about Treasure tokens, like Jolene, the Plunder Queen and Vazi, Keen Negotiator.

#75. Nevinyrral's Disk

Nevinyrral's Disk

Nevinyrral's Disk is a 50-cent ticking time bomb that can destroy enchantments, artifacts, and creatures with just the tap of a mana and a tap of this artifact. This can become a one-sided board wipe in an artifact deck with Darksteel Forge, or if you can obtain the Elspeth, Knight-Errant Emblem.

#74. Sol Ring

Sol Ring

Playing a turn one Sol Ring in Commander usually means you become an instant target for ramping so quickly. This quintessential mana rock can slot into any deck for general ramping purposes, especially to get a 3- to 4-drop commander out faster. Sol Rings are easy to come by for $2.50 per copy.

Cheaper cards like Worn Powerstone ($0.50) and Palladium Myr ($0.50) do a fine impression, though they’re obviously slower and more balanced. However, they still work in decks that require a lot of ramp.

#73. Eerie Ultimatum

Eerie Ultimatum

Eerie Ultimatum is a $6 Commander staple for Abzan () or 5-color decks. Since you can only have one type of any card in a Commander deck (with exceptions like basics, Rat Colony, Shadowborn Apostle, and others), you can return all the permanents in your graveyard to the battlefield with this sorcery during the late game to finalize your win.

#72. Blood Moon

Blood Moon

Players love the utility of nonbasic lands to help them create tokens, scry, draw cards, or remove permanents. And mana-fixing. Don’t forget mana-fixing. Blood Moon is a $6 card that’s out to make it a nightmare for your opponents running multiple nonbasic lands in their decks by turning them all into mountains. Evaluate your pod’s usual mana base during games before including Blood Moon in one of your red decks as it might not even be worth it if your opponents usually run more basic lands than nonbasics. 

#71. Supreme Verdict

Supreme Verdict

Azorius players love playing this $2 board wipe. Supreme Verdict has more value than other board wipes like Shatter the Sky because, for the same mana value, you get a sweeper that can’t be countered, with no downside.

#70. High Tide

High Tide

For only $.50, High Tide doubles everyone’s mana output from islands until the end of your turn. It’s best to save it for when you’re ready to cast a game-finishing combo that may require a good chunk of mana. It also makes for an easy win with Palinchron.

#69. Garruk’s Uprising

Garruk's Uprising

Garruk's Uprising is a $.50 green card draw staple that’s best for high-powered creature decks like dinosaurs, beasts, and dragons. Trample’s already a great bonus for a deck running all these heavy hitters anyway.

Elemental Bond used to be the go-to card advantage tool in this space, but Garruk’s Uprising mostly overshadows it. No worries, there’s still room for both in different types of decks.

#68. Gamble


Are you ready to make a Gamble? For $5, you can enjoy a 1-drop red tutor. As long as luck is on your side, you won’t end up randomly discarding what you just tutored for! After all, you are taking that gamble by casting this spell!

#67. Vandalblast


Your opponents operating artifact decks may never see an overloaded Vandalblast coming! It’s $2.50 and pays off substantially whether you’re paying just one mana to destroy a single artifact or overloading to destroy them all.

#66. Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt is one of the most popular burn spells that debuted in Magic’s first set, Limited Edition Alpha. While that version costs about $400, you can get more modern reprints of Lightning Bolt at an affordable $.50.

For just one red mana, you can kill a tiny leader, deal the last three damage needed to take an opponent out of the game, or self-inflict damage to one of your own creatures to trigger an ability. Looking at you, Brash Taunter!

#65. Kami of Whispered Hopes

Kami of Whispered Hopes

Kami of Whispered Hopes has about the same price point as its inspiration Hardened Scales, around $2.25. Kami can act as a high-ramping mana dork the more you bulk it up with +1/+1 counters.

#64. Acidic Slime

Acidic Slime

Acidic Slime destroys one of three different permanents types when it enters the battlefield, which is more valuable than other creatures that only gives you one or two choices. Its higher mana value may seem annoying but being a two-for-one creature and removal spell makes it worthwhile. Grab this deathtouching ooze for less than $0.25.

#63. Faithless Looting

Faithless Looting

Faithless Looting’s flashback is great for red decks that need to shape up their hand or graveyard. It’s even better than Magmatic Insight specifically because of its flashback ability. At about $0.25, you can’t beat such value, so you should add this card to most of your decks that include red.

#62. Brainstorm


Brainstorm lets you manipulate what you draw on your next two turns for only $2.50. Just drawing three cards alone gives you a world of possibilities, though it’s mostly used in conjunction with shuffle effects to get rid of cards you don’t need to draw back into. It’s a defining card in Legacy and holds its own in Commander.

#61. Breach the Multiverse

Breach the Multiverse

March of the Machine debuted Breach the Mutliverse, which is a $5.50 staple best played in full Commander pods. You’ll likely get the best four creatures among a large chunk of options, plus there’s the added benefit of possibly milling your opponent’s best cards straight into their graveyard.

#60. Assassin’s Trophy

Assassin's Trophy

Are you running a Golgari deck? Don’t forget Assassin's Trophy! Sure it’s $7, but that’s a steal for a 2-MV card that can destroy any of your opponent’s bothersome permanents no matter its typing! This removal spell is much better than Abrupt Decay because you’re not limited to the mana value of what permanent you can destroy and it doesn’t have to be a nonland permanent. Assassin's Trophy can even destroy a utility land your opponent controls if it’s giving them too much value.

#59. Kolaghan’s Command

Kolaghan's Command

This command features a list of four possible curveballs, allowing you to pick any two of them. It’s a $2 Rakdos instant that can turn the tides of the game in your favor.

Sometimes an opponent’s sitting at two life, or, if your Commander was killed two or more times in the game already, choose to send it to the graveyard, then return it to your hand with Kolaghan's Command to avoid paying Commander tax.

#58. Mystic Remora

Mystic Remora

Mystic Remora is a great $5 early to mid-game enchantment that can give you so much card draw in a 3- to 4-player pod. As long as you have enough artifact ramp or mana dorks, you can pay the cumulative upkeep cost for quite some time before having to sacrifice it.

The earlier you play Mystic Remora, say on turn one, the more cards you’ll draw because players won’t be able to pay the mana to negate its effect.

#57. Beast Within

Beast Within

Beast Within is another anything-goes removal spell for only $2. This sort of effect has been shifting into white (see: Generous Gift), so it’s actually a pretty unique form of removal for green.

#56. Krosan Grip

Krosan Grip

Split second makes Krosan Grip one of the best artifact/enchantment removal spells in green. Opponents can't cast any other spells in response to Krosan Grip and can only activate mana abilities. For $.50-.75, you can stop stack interaction while also destroying an opponent’s artifact or enchantment that causes you grief.

#55. Persistent Petitioners

Persistent Petitioners

It’s uncanny how persistent the Persistent Petitioners are at milling one’s library as more gather together. For about $1 per copy, you can build a Bruvac the Grandiloquent Commander deck with as many Persistent Petitioners as you want.

Bruvac the Grandiloquent allows four tapped advisors to mill 24 cards off any player’s library, and Bruvac is indeed an advisor. Jace, Wielder of Mysteries and Laboratory Maniac will slot seamlessly into Persistent Petitioners decks with a self-mill win con.

#54. Sigarda’s Aid

Sigarda's Aid

Sigarda's Aid is a Voltron player’s best friend. For $7.25, you now have the power to cast auras and equipment at flash speed and place equipment on creatures for free on ETB. It’s almost like having an Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist on the battlefield, but it’s 10 times better because of its flash ability. Ready for a Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh hitting for enough Commander damage in one blow?

#53. Ojer Pakpatiq, Deepest Epoch

Ojer Pakpatiq, Deepest Epoch Temple of Cyclical Time

Ojer Pakpatiq, Deepest Epoch rebounds your instants for free on your next upkeep, all for $2.5. Plus, this commander can ramp you for a few turns when it dies and transforms into Temple of Cyclical Time, which can transform back to its creature form a few turns later.

#52. Blasphemous Act

Blasphemous Act

Blasphemous Act is the quintessential red creature board wipe that can turn into a 1-drop as long as there are eight or more creatures total on the battlefield. Slot this in any red deck at the affordable price of $3.

Sure, 13 damage per creature seems absurd. But if you have a Voltron or aggro player with a high-powered creature under their control, you’ll need all the damage that you can get!

#51. Austere Command

Austere Command

For about $.75, Austere Command can turn into a complete creature board wipe when you combine the two creature modes. Tame the craziness that artifact or enchantment decks ensue by choosing to destroy either type, or both. Being able to select two of the four modes listed makes it a versatile removal spell to destroy what you need to based on the current in-game situation.

#50. Farewell


Farewell is the better version of Austere Command because you get to choose one or more of the four modes listed instead of just two. Plus, you get to exile artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and graveyards (or any combination thereof) rather than just destroying permanents and sending them to the graveyard with Austere Command.

This stops opponents with reanimator decks or graveyard recursion tactics from returning permanents from the graveyard. Its power and popularity push this board wipe to around $7.50 per copy.

#49. Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth

Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth Temple of Cultivation

When Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth lands combat damage, you view the equivalent amount of cards from the top of your library and put both a land and creature into play for free. At only $5.50, it’s a perfect fit for big stompy decks full of giant creatures you don’t mind casting for free, and it’s trivially easy to transform it back once it turns into Temple of Cultivation.

#48. Wrath of God

Wrath of God is a steal for just $3 per copy. Sorry Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon, you can’t regenerate through this one.

Regenerate phased out amongst Magic’s evergreen abilities after Oath of the Gatewatch, though Wrath of God will be especially brutal in the off chance that opponents have cards with regenerate effects.

#47. Sun Titan

Sun Titan

Sun Titan is a high-powered creature and graveyard recursion resource in one spell for only $.50. As long as many of your permanents are mana value three or less, you can always have something to return to the battlefield when Sun Titan attacks or ETBs. Sun Titan can push you far ahead, or slowly help you rebuild your battlefield after a board wipe.

#46. Traumatize


Traumatize is a better “mill half a library” sorcery spell than Maddening Cacophony because it’s one mana cheaper for the full effect. It’s most popularly played in Bruvac, the Grandiloquent Commander decks to mill someone’s entire library instantly. Place this $3.50 hitter in a mill theme deck and watch your opponents get salty instantly!

#45. Chaos Warp

Chaos Warp

Playing a Chaos Warp on an opponent’s best permanent to make them shuffle it into their library could very well backfire if they flip something worse off the top, but red has to deal with non-creature permanents somehow. Throwing a wrench in your opponent’s plans like this for just $2 is bliss in itself.

#44. Path to Exile

Path to Exile

Path to Exile is a 1-drop exile effect that can completely remove some cumbersome creature your opponent controls. While it ramps an opponent in return, that’s fair for this being only a single mana. Despite its popularity across all formats, multiple reprints since its debut in Conflux have dropped its price to only $2.

#43. Swords to Plowshares

Swords to Plowshares

Swords to Plowshares has been around since the beginning. The tradeoff of the opponent gaining life is a small price to pay to get something off the field for good unless you targeted a Commander. It’s played in 62% of EDHREC decks, which shows how popular of a removal spell it is.

#42. Sword of Hearth and Home

Sword of Hearth and Home

Sword of Hearth and Home is a $7.50 Mirran sword that protects the equipped creature from green and white. The ability to exile and return one of your creatures to the battlefield is of great value for creatures that have enter-the-battlefield effects. Plus, this sword’s a great source of ramp if you can continue to connect in combat.

#41. Divine Visitation

Divine Visitation

Divine Visitation replaces your low power 1/1 or 2/2 creature tokens with 4/4 flying and vigilant Angel tokens for only $6. The token replacement effect of Divine Visitation can get out of control quickly with token doublers, or triplers in the case of Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation.

#40. Enlightened Tutor

Enlightened Tutor

Enlightened Tutor helps accelerate artifact and enchantment decks by finding their best pieces. At $14 a copy, this is a key inclusion in such decks. Turn the tide of the game by searching for a Blood Moon to lock players with greedy manabases out of the game, or tutor for Blightsteel Colossus as a late-game win condition.

#39. Phyrexian Arena

Phyrexian Arena

Phyrexian Arena allows black decks to draw an additional card each turn at the cost of losing one life. This popular $5.50 enchantment is played in Sheoldred, the Apocalypse Commander decks, though it’s considered a staple in black decks without any inherent synergies.

#38. Lightning Greaves

Lightning Greaves

Lightning Greaves is one of the most powerful cards in the equipment department because of its equip cost. At $5, it’s a great protection tactic to keep your Commander on the battlefield longer with shroud. An early-game Lightning Greaves can help ensure your Commander attacks immediately when it hits the battlefield too.

#37. Mystical Tutor

Mystical Tutor

Mystical Tutor debuted in Mirage with the most recent reprinting being among the Dominaria Remastered cards, with its cheapest versions averaging around $6.50. It’s card disadvantage, but it’s an instant that finds some of your most important cards, which adds a lot of power and consistency to your deck.

#36. Counterspell


Counterspell is the most popular way to invalidate a spell. Permanents don’t hit the battlefield if a Counterspell hits them, making it one of blue’s best ways to deal with problematic value cards. For just $2.25, it’s one of the best and most reliable counterspells you can play. Appropriate, given the name.

#35. Rat Colony

Rat Colony

When banded together with other copies of it, Rat Colony becomes a huge, formidable army. Their power builds up for each other Rat Colony card you control, which can get out of control quickly because it’s easy to cast multiple copies per turn as you get further in the game.

You can have as many copies of Rat Colony as you want, even in singleton formats like Commander. Since each copy is about $5, you can customize how many you want in your deck based on your overall budget.

#34. Venerated Rotpriest

Venerated Rotpriest

Venerated Rotpriest distributes poison counters to opponents like hotcakes. Depending on how many instants, sorceries, and aura spells you target your creatures with, an opponent could lose the game in a few turns as more poison counters accumulate. If you’re willing to win in one of the most rotten ways by using poison counters, then grab Venerated Rotpriest for $3.25.

#33. Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Gray Merchant of Asphodel is one of the best game-enders in black, best in pure mono-black decks. You can kill opponents fairly reliably in one fell swoop with this $.50 creature spell.

#32. Courser of Kruphix

Courser of Kruphix

Courser of Kruphix is an automatic include when running a landfall deck. The only issue with playing with the top card of your library revealed is that your opponents get perfect information about your draws. Otherwise, don’t forget to slot this creature spell into your deck for only $1.

#31. Oracle of Mul Daya

Oracle of Mul Daya

Oracle of Mul Daya shares two abilities with Courser of Kruphix, but what makes this landfall gem better is being able to play an additional land on each of your turns. While Oracle of Mul Daya is $6, there are even cheaper options to consistently play more than one land per turn with cards like Azusa, Lost but Seeking ($4.75) and Wayward Swordtooth ($3).

#30. Yeva, Nature’s Herald

Yeva, Nature's Herald

Yeva, Nature's Herald makes a great addition to mono-green decks to give all green creature spells flash. Even multi-colored decks could benefit from this card as long as most of your creature spells have a splash of green in their costs.

You can cast Yeva, Nature's Herald at flash speed to put up a blocker, though running this as your commander will make that play pretty obvious to your opponents.

#29. Bolas’s Citadel

Bolas's Citadel

Bolas's Citadel is a $4 black jewel that expedites your access to spells from your library in exchange for docking your life total to cast those spells. You’ll need enough lifegain to maintain a healthy life total and rattle off even more spells. For best results, run Citadel in a mono-black or an Orzhov aristocrat deck, which has good tools to mitigate the use of the 10-life tap ability.

#28. Pitiless Plunderer

Pitiless Plunderer

Pitiless Plunderer debuted in Rivals of Ixalan and got a Special Guests reprint in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan for a much more modernized look. And the plunderer grew a beard to boot! The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Commander version is obtainable for only $4.

When you sacrifice any creature, Pitiless Plunderer rewards you with mana ramp via Treasure tokens. You’ll ramp like no tomorrow in decks that include sacrifice outlets for value.

#27. Sword of Once and Future

Sword of Once and Future

Sword of Once and Future still does a lot despite only costing $3.50. It lets you cast a free instant or sorcery spell with a mana value of two or less each time the equipped creature deals combat damage, which is an awesome value engine!

Cast 1-drop tutors from your graveyard for free or double up on a Pongify twice in the same turn.

#26. Sword of War and Peace

Sword of War and Peace

Sword of War and Peace is a $6 Mirran Sword that debuted in New Phyrexia. The equipment penalizes opponents with tons of cards in their hand and even gains you a little bit of life in exchange. Protection from white and red saves a creature from some of the best removal colors in Magic.

#25. Sword of the Animist

Sword of the Animist

Sword of the Animist is one of the best ramping equipment cards in Magic because you only have to declare an attack with the equipped creature to search for a land rather than having to land combat damage. At only $6.50, this equipment is best incorporated in Voltron and aggro decks that otherwise don’t have a lot of access to mana ramp.

#24. Ashnod’s Altar

Ashnod's Altar

Ashnod's Altar is a creature sacrifice outlet that nets colorless mana for each creature sacrificed. It costs $6 to incorporate into your decks with sacrifice themes.

You can enjoy infinite colorless mana with Ashnod's Altar, Reassembling Skeleton, and Pitiless Plunderer. In fact, Ashnod’s Altar is front and center at tons of well-known Commander combos.

#23. Crypt Ghast

Crypt Ghast

Crypt Ghast doubles your black mana output for each Swamp that you tap, so no wonder this awesome ramp card costs $7.50. If you want an even cheaper black mana doubler, consider Nirkana Revenant ($4.50). Extort’s especially nice on the Ghast, since it gives you somewhere to spend your extra mana when you’re casting cheaper spells.

#22. Skullclamp


Skullclamp is a card drawing machine in decks with one-toughness creatures. This $7.5 powerhouse can slot into any deck since it’s a colorless artifact, but it’s more valuable in creature token decks because they’re easily sacrificed when you need to draw cards. 

#21. Silence


Silence is a $9 curveball locking opponents out of casting spells for a turn. You can cast it during an opponent’s upkeep to prevent their sorcery-speed spells. Alternatively, you can cast this in the early part of one of your turns if you suspect that an opponent has a Counterspell for a wincon you’re planning on playing.

#20. Cryptic Command

Cryptic Command

Cryptic Command lets you choose two of four possible actions with the most valuable option being to counter a spell. You can bounce a permanent off the board too, or tap all opposing creatures for a game-winning attack. Drawing a card is always a good default option if nothing else is that impactful. That’s a lot of flexibility for just $7 per copy.

#19. Teferi, Time Raveler

Teferi, Time Raveler

Teferi, Time Raveler shuts down instant and flash spells since opponents can now only cast spells at sorcery speed. Turning your sorcery spells into flash ones with this planeswalker’s plus ability is super valuable, especially when you’re holding a Wrath of God or another board wipe against an aggressive opponent. Bouncing back an opponent’s artifact, creature, or enchantment can hinder someone’s strategy too. For $6, this is a pretty solid and valuable include in Azorius decklists.

#18. Sword of Sinew and Steel

Sword of Sinew and Steel

Sword of Sinew and Steel lets you destroy a planeswalker and an artifact each time the equipped creature deals combat damage, which is essential when playing against superfriends or artifact decks. Costing about $8.50, it’s one of the more affordable Mirran swords that can slot into any Voltron or aggro deck.

#17. Narset, Parter of Veils

Narset, Parter of Veils

Narset, Parter of Veils is a $1.50 planeswalker that can completely shut down card draw-themed decks. Unless you have ways to proliferate the planeswalker loyalty on this card, you’ll max out at two activations to search for a noncreature, nonland card. Proliferate with Ichormoon Gauntlet and Flux Channeler to get more activations of Narset’s minus ability.

#16. Sauron, the Dark Lord

Sauron, the Dark Lord

The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth brought one of the most popular LTR commanders to the helm: Sauron, the Dark Lord, obtainable for only $3.25. Its ward cost is one of the most unique because instead of paying life or mana, opponents have to sacrifice a legendary artifact or creature. Plus, the more spells your opponents cast, the more powerful your orc army will become.

This Commander is best built with an aggro strategy so you can continually attack with your growing army and assign a Ring-Bearer when it connects in combat. That lets you keep refilling your hand, though you’ll probably want other “tempted by the ring” effects floating around too.

#15. Goldspan Dragon

Goldspan Dragon

Goldspan Dragon generates a Treasure token whenever you attack with it or it becomes the target of a spell and doubles the mana from your Treasures. That’s great ramping value there, though at $15 a pop! Dragon decks, Treasure themed decks, and any red deck in need of ramp could benefit from running Goldspan Dragon.

#14. Myrel, Shield of Argive

Myrel, Shield of Argive

Myrel, Shield of Argive shuts down players from casting spells on your turn, so you can at least cast your spells without them being countered. When the soldier attacks, it doubles the number of soldiers you control in the form of Soldier artifact creature tokens. $15.75 is pushing the high end of “affordable,” but it’s a staple of any soldier-themed deck and works fantastically in any white aggro deck.

#13. Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim

Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim

Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim should be featured in every card draw deck because it accumulates loyalty counters for each card that you draw. The vigilant Spirit tokens Teferi creates with its minus ability will only get bigger with each card that you draw. Get the most value from this $5-$6 planeswalker with card draw spells like Blue Sun's Zenith and Flow of Knowledge.

#12. Helm of the Host

Helm of the Host

Helm of the Host is a $12 combo engine that can give you non-legendary copies of your commander and other legends.

There are many combo options for Helm of the Host. One way is to pair it with Coretapper and Magistrate's Scepter, or you can attach Helm of the Host to Combat Celebrant to get infinite combat steps.

#11. Time Warp

Time Warp

Who doesn’t love extra turns? Take an extra turn with Time Warp for only $15. Consider copy spells like Narset's Reversal and Twincast for more value as well, though a single extra turn is already enough to do some damage.

#10. Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might

Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might Temple of Power

Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might is a $9 commander that can increase the damage output of burn spells equal to its power instead. Lightning Bolt will deal at least four damage to any target instead of three because of Axonil’s ability. You could potentially one-shot players with Grapeshot and other cheap burn spells if you get Axonil’s power high enough.

#9. Oko, Thief of Crowns

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Oko, Thief of Crowns is one of the most powerful planeswalkers in Magic, which is why this $18.25 card has a ban decree in Pioneer, Legacy, Modern, Explorer, and Historic. Watch out commanders, because they can still become 3/3 elk creatures with this planeswalker’s second loyalty ability. This trickster is great for Simic control decks that like manipulating other opponents’ creatures or artifacts.

#8. Sword of Forge and Frontier

Sword of Forge and Frontier

Sword of Forge and Frontier is a $7.50 equipment that can access two extra cards from the top of your library each time you hit an opponent. It’s also a great source of mid-game ramp, since it finds more lands and lets you play an extra one each turn.

#7. Hellkite Tyrant

Hellkite Tyrant

Hellkite Tyrant is a lover of artifacts… yours and your opponents’. What makes this $7 dragon even more valuable is that it can be an instant win condition on your upkeep when you have 20 or more artifacts. Accumulate artifacts under your control quickly with Treasure token generators like Ancient Copper Dragon and Storm-Kiln Artist.

#6. Ojer Taq, Deepest Fountain

Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation Temple of Civilization

Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation is the creature token tripler from The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, obtainable for your best token deck for $18.50. There are many possibilities to generate token value from this legendary god.

Like the other gods from Lost Caverns, Ojer Taq dies into a land, and the condition for flipping Temple of Civilization back over isn’t too troublesome.

#5. Seedborn Muse

Seedborn Muse

Seedborn Muse is a $17.25 (Tenth Edition version) untap value engine that ensures you always have blockers and mana on opponents’ turns. A card like Yeva, Nature's Herald, or Vedalken Orrery can let you dump your hand out across your opponents’ turns and play entirely at instant speed.

#4. Crucible of Worlds

Crucible of Worlds

Did you self-mill some cards to look for creatures and lands? Maybe your opponents milled a lot of your cards and now you don’t have as many lands left in your library. Crucible of Worlds lets you play lands from your graveyard, which is especially effective for landfall decks. Anything that lets you play additional lands maximizes your Crucible, which will run around $16.

#3. Torment of Hailfire

Torment of Hailfire

Get ready to drain your opponent’s life totals with Torment of Hailfire for about $19 a copy. This is a great post-board wipe late-game finisher. If you have enough mana to pour into X and your opponents have low enough life totals, you could potentially wipe the whole pod out at once.

#2. Drannith Magistrate

Drannith Magistrate

Drannith Magistrate is the most powerful card you can use to hinder your opponents from casting their Commander or any other spells in their graveyard, hand, exile, etc. While there is a ban on it in Conquest and Historic Brawl, you can continue to cause shenanigans with it in Modern, Legacy, Vintage Commander, and Pioneer. You can pick up the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths version for $19.

#1. Grim Tutor

Grim Tutor

Grim Tutor is one of the most popular tutor cards in black because you can search for any type of card. This is an example of utilizing your life as a resource since you’ll have to pay three life to grab your best card or combo piece from your library, which is well worth it. Grim Tutor is one of the most powerful tutor cards in Magic because of its versatility. With the $17 price tag, it’s still eligible for our list of affordable cards under $20.

Wrap Up

Bolas's Citadel - Illustration by Jonas De Ro

Bolas's Citadel | Illustration by Jonas De Ro

The best affordable cards in Magic are the popular cards played across multiple formats but at a low cost. There are even more affordable cards with so much in-game value that we couldn’t cover today! However, if we missed one of your favorites, let us know in the comments below.

Are you ready to learn more about the almost 50,000 cards in Magic’s arsenal? Swing by the Draftsim blog to read highlights about the best cards in different categories and formats. Visit the Draftsim Twitter page for updates on the latest blog posts when we post them.

Until then, make it a point to learn about one new Magic card per day to keep it interesting in expanding your Magic: The Gathering knowledge.

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1 Comment

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    dray April 12, 2022 10:23 am

    thanks, nice list

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