Last updated on December 14, 2023

Brainstorm (Mystical Archive) - Illustration by Justin Hernandez & Alexis Hernandez.jpg

Brainstorm (Mystical Archive) | Illustration by Justin Hernandez & Alexis Hernandez.jpg

There are all kinds ways to rank Magic cards: the best commanders, the most beautiful art, the best planeswalkers, etc. Those are all great ways to sift the sands as it were, but there don’t seem to be many subjective lists that go over what makes an incredibly cool or interesting card.

To fill the void I’ve got the 31 coolest cards in Magic! I spent a good amount of time thinking through this and making my arguments. Do they hold up in your court? You be the judge!

What Makes a Magic Card Cool?

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben - Illustration by Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben | Illustration by Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss

Coolness (or the lack of it) are completely subjective, and they can’t be firmly established across different players. I find the coolest Magic cards to be the most innovative, format-warping, game-breaking, synergistic, and era-defining cards of their time. This includes everything from just plain flavorful cards to the most intimidating creatures in the game.

Keep in mind that it ain’t that deep, brah. This is a fun bit meant to get you thinking and talking about what makes cards cool. Mine aren’t the only right answers, and I’d probably change my mind if I think on it too long.

#31. Hellkite Tyrant

Getting to play Magic, dragons and steal all your opponent's treasures is such a cool feeling. Then your clue, map, myr or thopter token creating pays off when you untap Hellkite Tyrant and win the game in a cool way. This is the kind of card I don't mind losing to and thanks to Ravnica Remastered, this anime art puts it over the top and onto this list.

#30. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

I find Thalia, Guardian of Thraben just elegant. It’s got great stats and beautiful art across all versions of the card, and it puts up a hell of a fight against just about any kind of opponent. It’s classic and good in a multitude of formats, and I think it’s perfectly balanced.

#29. Yawgmoth's Bargain

Yawgmoth's Bargain

Yawgmoth's Bargain is the sort of game-breaking card that I find really cool. It completely skips your draw step and lets you pay one life to draw a card whenever you want. It perfectly encapsulates what black is all about on one card: paying life for resources.

I find the flavor text “He craves only one commodity” especially daunting. Lore-wise it clues you into the mind of Yawgmoth, who's now recognized as a person to the possibly unknowing audience, but also makes the player feel as though they’re some sort of dark mastermind themselves.

#28. Warp World

Warp World

If you manage to get past its incredibly long oracle text, Warp World does exactly what its name implies. It completely turns the game upside down, leaving those within it to rely on luck and the heart of their cards to come out on top. This is also emblematic of red’s nature within the game.

#27. Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm is just so cool! A massive blue enchantment, this card makes each player feel like an ancient wizard of incredible power and forces them to have just about as much fun as possible with their instants and sorceries. What’s not to love?

#26. Qasali Pridemage

Qasali Pridemage

Qasali Pridemage is a cat wizard. Need I say more?

#25. Supreme Verdict

Supreme Verdict

Supreme Verdict is a perfect example of the intersection between white and blue that comes with Azorius (). It merges white’s mass destructive power with blue’s master spell knowledge to make an end-all be-all board wipe.

The name of the card is also imposing, the art is beautiful, and the flavor text is dangerous and foreboding in a way that keys the audience in on the “abolishment edict” to come.

#24. Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt is one mana to deal three damage to any target. It shows versatility by being able to act as a defensive removal piece or an aggressive burn spell, and it fits into just about any red-based deck in formats that allow it.

This card doesn’t necessarily warp formats or break the game, but it has that sort of all-around versatility that makes it such a staple in many formats.

#23. Baleful Strix

Baleful Strix

I really, really like Baleful Strix. It’s a great card for so many reasons. It has amazing ageless art, but it also draws a card, has flying and deathtouch as a 1/1 for one mana, and is a perfect creature for control decks.

#22. Deranged Hermit

Deranged Hermit

I don't think I could think of a better name for this card than Deranged Hermit. What else could you possibly call a weird elf creature that has an army of squirrels? That’s right, that would be a Deranged Hermit.

#21. Birthing Pod

Birthing Pod

Birthing Pod defined the Modern format for a long time. It offers incredible toolbox utility and versatility in this interesting and unique system of sacrificing the old to nurture the new. Its art and phyrexian mana add to this effect, and it makes for a somewhat intimidating card that you can’t help but desire to tap into.

#20. Splinter Twin

Splinter Twin

Splinter Twin was so good that it had to be banned just like Birthing Pod. It’s amazing how powerful just copying a creature can be in Magic, and this card put infinite combos on the map for Modern.

#19. Thing in the Ice / Awoken Horror

I think Thing in the Ice is so cool because you can quite literally see the monstrosity slowly breaking free. It communicates a sense of impending doom that works across a multitude of artistic media and language.

Funny enough, this horror reminds of when Megatron was about to break free in Transformers. It didn’t matter if you understood what was going on or what people were saying. Once you see that gigantic terrifying monster frozen and held captive, you know its cage won't last.

#18. Dark Depths

Dark Depths

Dark Depths is Thing in the Ice’s bigger brother. Its power comes from players’ ability cheat out Marit Lage ahead of schedule. This is done by copying the land with Thespian's Stage, which creates a copy without the counters to instantly transform the land into the Marit Lage token.

#17. Chaosphere


Simply put, Chaosphere reverses gravity. That isn’t extremely powerful, but it completely reverses the rules of the game!

Everything is thrown out the window and a new and opposite set of rules are in place. How cool is that?

#16. Crucible of Worlds

Crucible of Worlds

Crucible of Worlds brings your lands back from the dead, allowing you to get more uses out of your them with activated abilities which cause them to be sacrificed.

At worst you get a few fetch lands back and never miss a land drop. At best you’re going to Strip Mine your opponents out of the game without repercussions.

#15. Dryad Arbor

Dryad Arbor

Dryad Arbor is both a land and a creature, but it isn’t a spell. It has summoning sickness so it can’t tap on the turn it comes in. It can also be tutored out with Green Sun's Zenith.

It operates in this weird middle-ground area that no other card really does, and it’s had its fair share of controversies as a result.

#14. Extra Turn Cards

Time Warp

Extra turn cards are sweet. There’s nothing more fun than taking a turn immediately after you took your own, except for seeing the hope and enjoyment drain from your opponents’ eyes as you cast your Time Warp.

#13. Exploration


I really enjoy Exploration. It isn’t really broken, but it changes up the pace of the game to allow a unique and consistent form of ramp for green. It also inspires you to play a much more land-focused deck, and that’s a strategy that isn’t all too common nowadays.

#12. Life from the Loam

Life from the Loam

Life from the Loam is often the best card in the decks that have it, which tells you a lot about how good it is and what kind of decks like this card. It offers incredible land recursion for multicolored decks with fetch lands and can help mill the top of your library after a Brainstorm.

This is the kind of card you can keep getting value out of the entire game.

#11. Painter’s Servant

Painter's Servant

Painter's Servant is an incredible combo piece that has a one-of-a-kind effect to turn all cards into a single color. It combos with Grindstone to mill somebody out and even turns all your colored spells into gold cards on MTGO!

#10. Worldfire


Worldfire gets its “coolness” from the fact that it burns nearly everything to ground. It creates an incredible tension in a Commander pod after it sets everyone’s life to one, takes out every card in play and in hand, and leaves everyone scrambling to find a quick combination of lands and creatures.

It’s a real mess sometimes.

#9. Griselbrand


Griselbrand is the definition of a badass. It comes in at seven mana, draws seven cards, deals seven damage, and even has lifelink. To top it off you get those seven cards the second it hits the battlefield.

There’s a reason this creature is banned in so many formats: it’s too powerful!

#8. The Eldrazi

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

The Eldrazi, especially Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, carry a certain kind of fear and weight with their name. They’re world-eating monstrosities in the lore, but they’re also just about as big of a threat as possible.

Half of the time you don’t even need to resolve the Eldrazi to make a sizeable impact.

#7. Phyrexian Praetors

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider

Like the Eldrazi, the praetors of Phyrexia carry five unique and powerful auras about them that are greatly reflected in their card’s design, flavor text, and art. From Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite’s master scheming and manipulation to Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider’s primal strength, these cards really cover the bases when it comes to otherworldly dangers.

#6. Grapeshot and Other Storm Cards


Storm is one of the most powerful and heavily-reserved mechanics in the game of Magic. It has quite literally unlimited potential, and virtually any card with storm quickly becomes a win condition in the right deck.

Grapeshot is particularly cool because you’re basically pelleting an opponent to death just because you got to cast 20 or so cards in the same turn. Storm is fun, exciting, and keeps everyone on their toes as you attempt to put the combo together.

#5. Force of Will (and others)

Force of Will Force of Vigor

Force of Will and other two-for-one cards like Force of Vigor are some of the most powerful cards in the game: they offer instant-speed interaction for no mana. You have to get rid of a second card to pay the cost, but the tempo gain and protection offered in that exchange are much greater than the loss suffered by pitching some other blue or green card.

#4. Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

I don’t know what it is about Jace, the Mind Sculptor, but something about the incredible power level of this card paired with its long-term seat on the banlist make it such an ominous and powerful card. Maybe it’s because it was an expensive and mystical card when I was young and started playing, or maybe it’s just super cool.

#3. Doomsday


Doomsday results in somebody dying shortly after it’s cast. This card brings unparalleled deckbuilding and piloting complexity with a seemingly limitless ceiling of mastery.

There’s so many combinations, piles, and deckbuilding strategies that intricately plan for every scenario that you just can’t ever count this deck out.

#2. Original Planeswalker Cycle

The first five planeswalkers ever made were Ajani Goldmane, Garruk Wildspeaker, Liliana Vess, Chandra Nalaar, and Jace Beleren. The release of these cards absolutely rocked the game and its player base, and it brought a completely new way of playing and interacting in the game.

It’s only recently that planeswalkers inched over the line of being present for more than half of Magic’s history, which shows how long the game has been going and how heavily planeswalkers have impacted set design, format strategies, and gameplay.

#1. Brainstorm


I didn’t have to Brainstorm long to come up with the coolest card in the game. It’s a decent cantrip on its own that’s card-neutral and offers some decent selection. It’s the synergies that this card has with so many other card types and mechanics that give it the top spot.

The most known trick with Brainstorm is pairing it with a shuffle effect like a fetch land’s ability to shuffle away the cards from your hand you put back on top. This means you get the best card out of three, but you also get the best cards out of your hand minus the two worst ones.

You can even get sneaky with Brainstorm and hide cards from spells like Thoughtseize on top of your library, or when you’re anticipating a mill effect and need to ditch some unplayable cards.

Wrap Up

Worldfire - Illustration by Izzy

Worldfire | Illustration by Izzy

Hope these cool cards haven’t given you too many chills! This was super fun to put together, and it really got me thinking as to what I do and don’t like in Magic.

What did you think of my list? Did I miss cards that you find super cool? Do my justifications make sense? Do you have other reasons for finding certain cards cool or not? 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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