Last updated on November 30, 2023
Tome of the Guildpact | Illustration by Randy Gallegos
Magic is a game where whoever has more resources most likely wins, making card draw one of the most important mechanics in the game. With card draw being as prevalent as it is powerful, choosing the right sources of card advantage can be tough.
With that in mind, what are your options if you don't want to commit to a color in particular? Are there any colorless cards that can provide you with card advantage? Today I'm going over the best of them and ranking them both on raw power and efficiency.
Want to know which ones those are? Let's find out!
What Is Colorless Card Draw in MTG?
Bonder's Ornament | Illustration by Lindsey Look
Colorless card draw is just a source of card draw without any color associated with it. Simple as that. Lots of cards have “draw a card” on their text, but for all today's list I’ll only rank those that give you positive net card draw advantage with the exception of one or two, but I'll talk about that later.
This means that cantrips (cards that just draw you one card) are excluded.
I want to mention all the lands that are colorless by definition, but produce mana of some sort of color. These lands have an activated ability that lets you sacrifice them for a card, like all the Horizon lands. There are others, of course, but these are probably the most popular:
Even if cantrips aren't part of today's rankings, they're still worth mentioning since they all see play in their respective formats.
#31. Network Terminal
While it technically doesn't provide you with any card advantage per se, Network Terminal makes the last slot of the list because it can be used to smooth your draws. And you can use it multiple times a turn if you manage to untap it.
Imagine a combo involving Displacer Kitten, Tezzeret the Seeker, and some other cards to set up a board state where you can draw your entire library and win with the likes of Thassa's Oracle. You can probably come up with some other similar combos with your imagination.
#30. Bazaar of Baghdad
Remember when I mentioned that there was an exception with a card that doesn't provide you with net card advantage? Well, Bazaar of Baghdad is the card I was talking about. This is actually card disadvantage. But if that’s the case, why am I even mentioning it?
For starters, there are some mechanics like madness that can be used along with it, as seen with the famous Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis deck that runs Basking Rootwalla and Blazing Rootwalla, along with filling your graveyard as part of its plan.
#29. Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
On the net positive card draw cards we have Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, which is often used in group hug Commander decks. In some very narrow scenarios you can mill someone by forcing them to draw a card. This might hold someone from going off with Thassa's Oracle, for example.
#28. Font of Mythos
Another excellent group hug card is Font of Mythos. This can be tricky to play since you don't get any positive card advantage on the turn it lands, which can lead to the nightmare scenario of passing the turn, giving your opponent two cards, and getting your artifact killed.
But it's rarely destroyed at a Commander table.
#27. Temple Bell
#26. Howling Mine
Like Font of Mythos, Howling Mine is another card that gives everyone an extra card on their draw step, with a catch. It turns into a one-sided card draw engine if you have a way to tap it on your turn.
#25. Sea Gate Wreckage
Sea Gate Wreckage can be useful if you repeatedly run out of cards in hand, but it won’t do anything if you happen to be in a situation where you’re looking for a land with cards still in hand.
#24. Library of Alexandria
We have Library of Alexandria on the other side of the spectrum. It may seem like it's the opposite of Sea Gate Wreckage, but don't be fooled! Its power level is such that it's banned in almost every sanctioned format except Vintage, where it's restricted.
Library of Alexandria would be ranked higher on the list if it weren't for it only being playable in Vintage, but it remains in a solid #23 spot for now.
#23. Roadside Reliquary
Roadside Reliquary can provide you with some cards when mana is no longer relevant if you meet both conditions. You’re usually looking for answers or a way to finish the game, and having access to this card was why mono-red was very successful in Neon Dynasty Limited.
#22. Bonders' Enclave
Bonders' Enclave’s value is higher than that of the other lands I mentioned because it stays on the field after drawing a card unlike Roadside Reliquary. And its activation cost isn’t so hard to meet as long as it's in the right deck.
#21. Arch of Orazca
Arch of Orazca is here because getting the city’s blessing is pretty easy to achieve on a lot of board states. Five mana seems like a lot, but it's worth it once you get to the late game.
#20. Dreamstone Hedron
#19. Hedron Archive
Hedron Archive is very similar to Dreamstone Hedron with the difference being that its cost is reduced by two, and you only get to draw two cards. It's always easier to pay 4 mana instead of 6, and this is an excellent way to go if you want to ramp from turn 4 to turn 7.
#18. Solemn Simulacrum
Solemn Simulacrum has always been a Commander staple for its ability to generate value in several ways for just four mana. It ramps you, it protects your life total, and on top of that, it draws you a card.
If we’re talking about value, this card provides you with three cards for one on its best day, and you get to repeat this whole process again if you have ways to recur it.
#17. Kozilek, the Great Distortion
While Kozilek, the Great Distortion may be a bit expensive to cast, its draw potential is insane since it can go from drawing one card to refilling your entire hand. Things get better if you happen to run it as your commander because you can spend all your cards on cheap mana rocks and refill your hand with it when you cast it.
#16. Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
The difference between Kozilek, the Great Distortion and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth is that the latter always provides you with the same number of cards, and it's the cheapest of two. Like the other Kozilek, the Butcher can also be used as your commander.
#15. Treasure Map
We’re getting closer to the top 10 colorless card draw, and the cards' quality only improves from here.
The number of sequences you can craft with Treasure Map is absurd. Not only does it improve your draws, it also ramps you and draws you a card when you need it for just a Treasure token. This card is a perfect fit if you happen to have a deck that can create multiple Treasure tokens.
#14. Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Fire and Ice is the best of the swords for a couple of reasons. But the main thing is that it can provide you with a reliable way to get through your opponent’s creatures while giving you a card.
#13. Mask of Memory
Mask of Memory is very similar to Sword of Fire and Ice. What separates one from the other is the mana and equipment cost. Sure, you don’t get the other benefits that the Sword provides, but a low mana cost is usually better than a high payoff.
#12. Memory Jar
This one may look similar to the other group hug effects, but trust me when I tell you that Memory Jar is in a league of its own.
Its power comes from its combo potential. A typical play pattern back in the day was casting your first Jar, finding a second copy of it, casting it again, and then killing your opponent with the help of Megrim.
#11. Mazemind Tome
Getting to pay 10 mana to draw four cards (and gain four life) may seem excessive at first glance. But getting to pay that cost over the course of several turns and being able to scry every turn is why Mazemind Tome is so high on the list.
#10. Reckoner Bankbuster
#9. Tome of the Guildpact
Tome of the Guildpact can be a combo piece in a dedicated deck. Being a mana rock is a plus.
#8. Well of Lost Dreams
#7. Bonder’s Ornament
#6. Sensei's Divining Top
Sensei's Divining Top is a classic card-advantage engine. It works best in conjunction with shuffle effects, as those empower you to get rid of cards you don't wish to draw. It's technically card-draw card as well thanks to its tap ability, which lets you have on-demand access to the top card of your deck.
This is an all-time favorite of mine. Staff of Nin was used as a pseudo-card advantage tool for control decks when it was in Standard, and it deals with small creatures in the best-case scenario. At worst it can ping an opponent.
Mind's Eye is a must-have in any list. You can at least draw three more cards in EDH with enough mana and a full table.
Horn of Greed is a card that can be totally busted in the right deck. The catch is that your opponents can also exploit its ability. You can go off quickly if you pair it up with cards like Oracle of Mul Daya, making it incredible in Commander decks based around lands.
Are you surprised to see Skullclamp in first place? It may seem like an innocent 1-mana artifact, but don't be fooled by appearances. It's banned from Legacy for a good reason.
Paired with the likes of Bitterblossom you can draw at least two more cards per turn for just two mana. You can refill your hand with ease if you can create a bunch of X/1 creatures.
Fun fact: Skullclamp was supposed to give the equipped creature +1/+1, but then it was “nerfed” to give it +1/-1. Yeah, Wizards broke a card by nerfing it. Go figure.
Network Terminal | Illustration by Andreas Zafiratos
It's been fun to rank the best colorless sources of card draw out there. As you can see, a lot of them are quite powerful. I also had a blast researching the ones I didn't remember existed.
Which one is your favorite? Are there any excluded that you wanted to see on the ranking? Please let me know in the comments or over on the Draftsim Twitter.
It’s been a pleasure, as always. I hope to see you again in the next ranking session!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: