Last updated on October 19, 2023
Treasure Cruise | Illustration by Cynthia Sheppard
Drawing cards is one of the best things you can do in just about any card game, Magic included. While other resources are often co-dependent on synergistic cards or strategies, card draw is one of those few mechanics that’s always good in a vacuum.
Drawing more cards of your deck is the most sure-fire way to win. You’d be surprised to realize just how many more games of Magic you’d have won if you drew just one or two extra cards over the course of a game.
Today I’m going to be breaking down some of the best card draw spells in across all of blue. Let’s get started!
What Is Blue Card Draw in MTG?
Ponder | Illustration by Dan Scott
Card draw refers to any spell that draws you a card, period. And blue card draw is just that: card draw in blue!
#32. Lórien Revealed
Lórien Revealed isn't great as a pure card-draw engine, but it has enough synergy in the formats which it's legal in to warrant recognition. Pitching it to Force of Will, casting it with Up the Beanstalk, or just fetching a Tundra are all great things to do with this card. It's hard to go wrong.
#31. Fact or Fiction
While Fact or Fiction is mostly used in Commander, it still offers decent card selection and card draw. I wish it was just Gifts Ungiven but drawing some of the best cards from the top five for four at instant speed isn’t bad.
You may even get more than you were hoping for from this one if you can play some politics at the table with one of your opponents.
#30. Spreading Seas
Spreading Seas is one of the rare land hate pieces in blue, and this one draws a card too. This is a sweet cantrip in mono-blue creature decks like various merfolk and faerie brews that can help hate on opponents while having zero downside to playing on themselves. It’s cheap, it’s cute, it draws a card, and there isn’t much more I can ask for.
Windfall, the blue Wheel of Fortune, is one of the cheapest and most efficient wheel spells out there. Unlike most other blue wheels, this doesn’t shuffle your hand and graveyard back in, which makes it a decent way to fill up the graveyard in Dimir () or Sultai () decks when you start to run out of gas.
Just make sure it’s actually worth casting and there’s somebody with a full hand out there!
#28. Echo of Eons
Echo of Eons is another wheel, but this one actually shuffles the hands and graveyards into the library before drawing. It does unfortunately cost six mana, but it’ll only cost if you can get it into the graveyard via dredging another card or some other efficient route!
#27. Memory Deluge
Memory Deluge is a fresh card that’s started to see some play in slow control decks in both Modern and Pioneer. It offers great card selection on the first cast and comes back later with a vengeance, offering nearly double as much information.
This is a super sweet engine to prevent running out of cards going into the late game and a great 2-of in most blue control decks.
#26. Cryptic Command
While Cryptic Command has undoubtedly seen better days, the card draw on this paired with the optional utility was once unrivaled. Bouncing permanents, tapping down a board before attackers, or even countering a spell all on top of drawing a card is just so good.
Even with Archmage's Charm filling its role in eternal formats, the Command is still worth including in tons of blue EDH decks.
Next up we’ve got Mulldrifter, a 2/2 flier with evoke that draws two cards when it enters the battlefield. I’m a big fan of this card. It’s good on three as a way to just replenish your hand, and a great 5-drop.
I love beating somebody down with a little 2/2 flier.
#24. Thought Scour
Thought Scour has a similar story to that of Cryptic Command. Once a great blue staple in graveyard decks it’s since been passed over by the likes of Consider, which just gives better options when it comes to putting cards into the graveyard.
Death's Shadow decks still sometimes run this card, though. It’s yet to fall completely by the wayside.
#23. Dress Down
While Dress Down is largely relegated to the sideboard in most decks, don’t forget that it offers decent card draw on top of its other effects. Part of its efficient stax effect is that it replaces itself in your hand which allows it to see play in control decks that prefer to pass with mana up.
#22. Mystic Confluence
Mystic Confluence provides a lot of options for not too heavy a cost. Drawing three cards for 5-mana isn't the best rate. Having the added ability to counter a spell or bounce an annoying creature also works in some situations.
Consider has quickly risen to stardom in Modern through Izzet () Murktide. It’s all but replaced Thought Scour as the cantrip of choice for blue graveyard decks, and for good reason. It offers great selection so you can bin a card if you want, but you also have the option to keep it and draw that card.
#20. Serum Visions
Serum Visions is one of the worse cantrips in blue in general, but it still offers decent value on rate as a cantrip.
Thoughtcast is one of the empowering cards for blue affinity decks. This is just great card draw, plain and simple. Not much to say here.
#18. Thought Monitor
Preordain is one of the older cards on this list. While its power level is too weak for the formats its legal in, it’s still one of the better blue cantrips. You’ll mostly only see this card in Commander spellslinger decks since it’s banned in Modern, but it still performs great there.
#16. Archmage’s Charm
With Cryptic Command’s body successfully disposed of, Archmage's Charm has quickly become the utility spell of choice for blue decks in the Modern Horizons format. It offers most of the same options as its predecessor while being cheaper and easier to cast overall.
#15. Day’s Undoing
Day's Undoing is a special wheel. It offers a full wheel with graveyards and hands shuffling into the deck for just three mana, but the caveat is that it ends your turn on resolution.
But this isn’t much of a downside if you have Narset, Parter of Veils in play to dump your opponent’s hand while giving you a fresh seven.
#14. Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy / Jace, Telepath Unbound
Next up is baby Jace, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. This is one of the better cheap blue planeswalkers. A creature on the front face, this version of Jace offers looting effects until you fill your graveyard enough when it flips into a great low-value planeswalker.
#13. Consecrated Sphinx
It wouldn’t be a card draw ranking without some mention of Consecrated Sphinx. This 6-mana flier has long been a staple of blue EDH decks, and for a great reason.
Whenever an opponent draws a card, you get to draw two. That makes it impossible for your opponents to pull ahead in resources and offers two to six more cards per turn cycle without extra card draws factored in!
#12. Rhystic Study
Rhystic Study is an obvious inclusion on today’s list. This cheap blue enchantment offers consistent and long-term card draw as long as it doesn’t get removed. It’s a great early play. Especially combined with something like Sol Ring, which can get it in play early to capitalize on your opponents’ various early-game drops when they can’t pay the one.
#11. Mystic Remora
Mystic Remora is a lot like Rhystic Study turned up a notch. This one actually has a cumulative upkeep in exchange for requesting each player pay four instead of one to prevent you from drawing cards. This makes it a great early play, usually on turn 1, but not really worth keeping around once turn 3 or 4 come to pass.
Gush is a combo deck’s card draw dream. It’s basically free, draws a couple cards, and can still be played for its mana value in the worst-case scenario. It’s most used in Doomsday decks as a way to cheaply and quickly draw through your 5-card pile, then close out the game with Thassa's Oracle.
#9. Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Jace, the Mind Sculptor, while powerful for its card denial and bounce effects, still takes over a game through card advantage if it goes unchecked. This card was banned for years for a reason, and getting so many extra Brainstorms is a large part of that.
#8. Time Spiral
We’ve looked at our fair share of wheels today, and I couldn’t leave out Time Spiral. This whopping 6-mana wheel has an interesting effect: it untaps six lands!
#7. Dig Through Time
Next up we’ve got Dig Through Time, which you probably have a few foil copies of thanks to your local game store if you’re lime me! I like this card a lot. It’s very similar (and often compared) to Treasure Cruise, but I think it’s the worse of the two.
That said, it still offers nearly-unparalleled card information and selection, not to mention it’s a great 2-drop if you can delve some cards away.
#6. Gitaxian Probe
Gitaxian Probe is quite literally a free card with the added bonus of seeing your opponent’s hand. This is one of the best ways to fill the graveyard at no cost to your card advantage, and the information of what your opponents are up to is so powerful that this card is banned in just about every format.
But when it comes to raw card advantage this is still just card-neutral and offers no other card information on your side of the table.
Ponder is one of my all-time favorite Magic cards and an absolute banger of a cantrip. This one’s great because it lets you see the most cards without secondary assistance from something like a shuffle effect.
But keep in mind that this can easily becomethe best cantrip when you do have a shuffle effect handy. It lets you pick your favorite cards of the three and then shuffle the two unwanted ones.
Brainstorm is one of the best cantrips in the game and works especially well if you manage to pair it with an on-demand shuffle effect like fetch lands. It lets you see three total cards and even gives you the choice to pitch two from your hand to the top of your library.
This works as a way to both hide cards from hand disruption spells like Thoughtseize, as well as a way to shuffle them back in and draw something fresh.
#3. Treasure Cruise
You can imagine how powerful this card is. Especially in older eternal formats like Modern and Legacy where you can quickly fill up the graveyard with fetch lands and other spells like Thought Scour to draw three extra cards as early as turn 2.
The first, but not the last, piece of the Power 9 on this list is Timetwister. This is a 3-mana wheel that shuffles your hand and graveyard back into your library before drawing. This same effect is seen on Echo of Eons, but in this case we get that effect for half as much.
This is notably the only piece of the Power 9 that’s legal in Commander.
#1. Ancestral Recall
In first place is, obviously, is Ancestral Recall. This is another one of the Power 9, and for even more obvious reasons.
One mana to draw three with zero downside, including the choice to force your opponent to draw three, is just about as good as it comes. This card basically gives you an entire half of a new hand for almost free, and I can’t think of a better way to climb back into a game or pull ahead of your opponent than casting this card.
Best Card Draw Payoffs
While card draw is one of the few mechanics and resources that doesn’t really require any other engines or cards to work well since it just draws you cards from your deck, there are some specific creatures and cards that make drawing cards even better than before (if you can believe it).
One of the classics that come to mind are the various Niv-Mizzet cards, like Niv-Mizzet, Parun and Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind. These turn each card drawing event into a way to sling some direct damage and give you some extra ways to draw.
If red isn’t really your thing then Simic () has plenty to offer in the likes of Tishana, Voice of Thunder and Prime Speaker Zegana. Both of these grow and provide extra resources the more cards you accumulate.
Spreading Seas | Illustration by Jung Park
That’s all I’ve got for you today! This was like a dream to write up as a mono-blue player across multiple formats myself. I’ve always loved blue cards, especially one that draw me cards, and writing these listicles allow for me to relish in these spells a bit more.
What did you think of my rankings? Are there any important cards I didn’t include, or particular rankings you’d want to shift around? Let me know in the comments below or over in the official Draftsim Discord.
Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!
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