Urza’s Saga | Illustration by Titus Lunter
Magic is a game of variance, and searching for a specific card you want in a given moment can turn the tide of the game in your favor. This effect is called “tutoring” thanks to Demonic Tutor, and you can tutor in all colors nowadays.
Today I’m looking at the best ways to tutor without color since all decks can use these. Colorless tutors are ranked based on their relevance in the decks they’re in, and a lot of them see eternal play of some sort.
Let’s get into it!
Maze’s End (Dragon’s Maze) | Illustration by Cliff Childs
“Tutor” is MTG lingo for an effect that lets you search for a certain card and put it into your hand or on top of your library. Some tutors get any type of card, like Demonic Tutor, while others let you search for a creature, instant, or land. Tutors are important because they raise the consistency of a deck, or the possibility of a certain combo to work as intended.
I’m only ranking the colorless tutors today. In the context of Commander these are tutors that have a colorless color identity and can be played in your Kozilek, Butcher of Truth EDH deck as well as any colored decks.
Honorable Mention: The Fetch Lands
The Onslaught/Zendikar fetch lands like Polluted Delta and Scalding Tarn are among the best cards in the game. You could call the fetch lands a colorless tutor effect since they search for a land with the respective type and put them on the battlefield.
Originally printed as the Gate’s win condition in Dragon’s Maze, Maze’s End can tutor different Gate lands from your decks. It’s tutoring, mana fixing, and ramp all in one. Magic has more than 10 different Gates now and plenty more Gates-matter cards, so this just gets better.
Gate to the Afterlife was a very powerful card in its Standard format. It’s only here on the list because it’s not a flexible tutor since it only gets God-Pharaoh’s Gift. Together those two cards make for a nice reanimator deck, provided you have enough self-mill.
Kuldotha Forgemaster was played in Vintage shops deck as a way to sacrifice cheap artifacts like Petals and Moxen to get beefy artifacts like Blightsteel Colossus. Nowadays we get lots of EDH Treasure-themed decks to play the Forgemaster and other cool, cheap artifacts to interact with as well as artifact lands, so it’s easier to tutor for a big artifact if needed.
Painfully slow, but hey, we’re talking colorless tutors, so any deck can play Planar Portal. You basically get a tutor effect every turn, so play this in your big mana artifact decks to search for bombs and win conditions.
Ring of Three Wishes is one mana cheaper than Planar Portal on casting and activation, so it’s a little better but still slow. To make up for it there’s a limit on three activations, which is usually enough when it gets going.
Take Planar Portal’s design and put the card straight into the battlefield. It’s worse if you’re tutoring for instants or sorceries, but it’s the best choice if your targets are big and expensive.
Sanctum of Ugin is one of many colorless designs that lets you tutor a big creature since it’s Eldrazi-themed. The opportunity cost to put this in your deck is slow since it’s a colorless land with no downside.
Pyre of Heroes provides you with a mini Birthing Pod effect, available to all colors. It’s a tribal card that’s seen play in the last Standard format in angel and cleric decks. A good alternative in tribal decks.
Tamiyo’s Journal produces Clues, which allows you to draw extra cards. Investigating every turn means that you can choose between drawing two cards a turn or sacrificing three Clues to tutor for any card. It’s better if you have more Clue support, especially in Simic () colors.
Eye of Ugin was fine when it was designed since the Eldrazi were all very expensive, so casting them for two mana less was acceptable power-level wise. Enter the Battle for Zendikar block with cheaper Eldrazi, and the card became a powerhouse.
It’s nice to reduce the cost of Eldrazi you’re willing to cast and be able to tutor for a big creature, all in the same package.
One of the main enablers for Urza/Tron decks, Expedition Map is one of the few cards in Magic that lets you search for a nonbasic land, which is key for the deck to function. You get a nonbasic land tutor that any deck can play, so this fixes your mana and gives you useful nonbasic lands if you need.
#2. Karn, the Great Creator
It disables enemy artifacts and can tutor for any artifact, provided that it’s in your sideboard. Unfortunately, it’s a no in EDH since the format doesn’t have sideboards.
Urza’s Saga is so dominant in lots of formats and keeps popping up on best-of lists. It works as a colorless tutor that allows you to tutor an artifact with mana value 1 or less, which include Mishra’s Bauble, Expedition Map, Relic of Progenitus, Colossus Hammer, and more.
Urza’s Saga’s flexibility is what makes it very good to dominate so many eternal formats.
Expedition Map (Zendikar) | Illustration by Franz Vohwinkel
Well, that’s all for me today on colorless tutors. Colorless cards can do almost anything in Magic, though with a lower efficiency than other colors to avoid breaking the color pie. Big Eldrazi monsters are themed to colorless, so these typically tutor big creatures and other artifacts.
What colorless tutors do you play in your format of choice? Did I miss any important ones? Let me know in the comments below or on the official Draftsim Discord.
Stay safe folks, and until the next one!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: