Last updated on November 29, 2023
Urabrask the Hidden | Illustration by Brad Rigney
One of my favorite mechanics in Magic has got to be haste. I love how its speed and aggressiveness can overwhelm an opponent. Some creatures come with haste, but there are also lots of ways to give them that ability. You can open an aggressive strategy by granting haste to your bomb, or to multitudes of creatures that might not otherwise have it.
Haste is an evergreen keyword that allows creatures to enter the battlefield without summoning sickness. They can attack during combat and tap on their first turn on the battlefield. Haste is viewed as an aggressive and speed-based mechanic.
What kind of haste enablers are out there? What makes a good one? Let's find out!
Kenrith, the Returned King | Illustration by Kieran Yanner
Haste can be granted to a creature in a lot of different ways. Many reanimator cards bring a creature back from the graveyard and give it haste. There are red sorceries that take an opponent’s creatures and give them haste until end of turn. The haste mechanic gives these abilities value for a single-turn assault.
Other haste enabling cards that give the ability to all your creatures or all of a specific creature type are today’s focus. Spells that give haste with another effect like blitz, and activated abilities like Goblin Motivator, Act of Treason, or Whip of Erebos are all valuable, but they’ll wait for another time.
Best White Haste Enabler
Insert Lord of the Rings quote here. Kenrith, the Returned King has been a bomb card in every format it’s been legal in. It’s currently legal in the Modern and eternal formats and should be added to lots of competitive decks.
Kenrith gives the massive advantage of activating abilities of all colors and effects depending on your need, including paying one red mana to give all creatures trample and haste.
Best Black Haste Enabler
Over My Dead Bodies isn’t legal in any format and is just for fun. I still want to talk about it because I think it’s entertaining.
It opens all graveyards to act as a second battlefront. The static ability at the bottom of the card now gives anything that enters your graveyard haste.
Tuktuk Rubblefort is a small defender that probably won’t help your board presence much. The value comes from enabling haste for all your creatures instead of just one. It probably won’t make it into too many decks with the mana cost of three and without upside.
Of all the goblins that enable haste, Hellraiser Goblin is lowest in value. It's nice to give all your creatures haste, but the forced attack every turn could put you in a situation you’d rather avoid.
Of all the class enchantments from Forgotten Realms, Barbarian Class is one of the cheapest and least playable. There aren't too many overpowered or even competitive dice-rolling cards, and you have to invest a decent amount of mana to get to the level three ability. Once you reach level three your creatures will swing fast with haste.
Doomskar Titan is a haste enabler that costs too much to pair with a creature that would need haste. The haste effect is just for Doomskar Titan unless you have a ridiculous amount of available mana. It’s better left for Limited play only.
Elementals can be very strong and work together in amazing ways. But Maze Rusher doesn’t impress me. It’s always nice to give creatures haste, but the mana cost and the restriction of only multicolored creatures makes it less worthwhile.
Cyclops of Eternal Fury is a big creature that also speeds up your other big creatures. But the six mana is a huge payment for a 5/3 creature.
Burst of Speed is one of the only sorceries here. They aren’t always good at granting haste because you need mana to cast it. How much mana can you afford for a sorcery and creatures in an aggressive deck?
This card should be saved for decks with a massive board that needs to swing quickly, like a Scute Swarm Modern deck.
Ashling's Prerogative is an interesting gamble for speed in Modern or eternal formats. For this card to be effective all your creatures need to have either even or odd mana costs.
This is a nice card if you need your commander to attack as soon as possible. Bloodsworn Steward can help activate those attacking triggers that you build around in your commander.
Frenzied Saddlebrute has some very interesting wording: your creatures may attack players and planeswalkers as though they had haste. It’s worded like this to let your creatures attack but not tap for other reasons.
The distinction and the mana cost are enough to steer me away.
Red has always been a good color for artifact decks. Thopter Engineer is a card to add speed to all your artifact creatures. It can pair well with cards like Patchwork Automaton and Reckoner Bankbuster.
Village Reavers grants haste to your wolves and werewolves. It has value if you want to overpower your opponent and have the chance to change the board to night. It’s not a popular choice for werewolf decks in Standard right now, but it might be worth consideration.
In the Web of War is an enchantment that’s on the expensive side, but the payoff may be worth it. Your creatures will be faster, stronger, and more burdensome for your opponent if you can create ways to get to five mana quickly. It’s legal in Modern and eternal formats.
Mjӧlnir take a seat, Hammer of Purphoros is a legendary enchantment artifact that speeds up your assault. The fact that it has lots of card types may give it value in many builds from Pioneer to Commander.
It also can give you creature tokens with haste in the end game to seal up the win.
You’ve met the hammer, now meet the god. Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded was probably my least favorite god from Theros: Beyond Death, but it still has value in accelerating your creatures. It can be paired with big red creature or aristocrat-style creature decks.
You have to love a versatile card with multiple options for tribal builds. Lovisa Coldeyes grants haste and gives +2/+2 to your barbarians, warriors, and berserkers. This card is fantastic for these tribal builds in the Modern and eternal formats.
Fervor is a straight-to-the-point enchantment that enables all your creatures to have haste. If you want to speed up some of your big mid-range and end-game creatures, Fervor is a card for you. It’s legal in Modern and eternal formats.
With enough mana, you can create big flying dragon tokens. In the meantime you can give your creatures haste to apply pressure.
Here’s a planeswalker with immense value that can give your creatures haste. After the first turn your Zariel, Archduke of Avernus is played you don’t have to spend any mana to give your creatures haste and a slight pump.
The incarnation creature types are mostly found in the Modern and eternal formats, but they’re incredible. Getting value and abilities from your graveyard can be a huge advantage.
Cavalier of Flame is a great mono-red enabler. It can draw cards and do damage, and it can grant your creatures haste. The Cavalier is legal in lots of formats and should be considered when playing a mono-red midrange deck.
This is what I’m talking about!
Mass Hysteria is exactly what you want from a haste enabler. It costs one mana and there are no restrictions for your creatures. This is the card for you if you want to speed up your deck in the Modern or eternal formats.
A focal point of the goblin creature type is their tribal synergy and speed, and Goblin Chieftain is a perfect example. Along with Battle Cry Goblin and Goblin Warchief, it’s a must-have for goblin tribal decks in Modern, Historic, and Commander.
Battle Cry Goblin has just left the Standard rotation, so it can now make waves in the more expansive formats. Goblin tribal has been a popular build since MTG started, and this card fits perfectly into the mold.
You now can give all your goblins haste and pump them for very cheap. This card is a must-add for any goblin tribal build.
Goblin Warchief is like the other goblins haste enablers above it. Where this card excels is the fact that it gives goblins haste, and they all cost one less colorless mana.
This should really speed up your assault. The cherry on top is that Warchief is legal in almost all the non-Standard formats.
Ogre Battledriver gives any creature that enter the battlefield haste and +2/+0. The wording may seem a little strange, but the benefit and value is there. Load up the Ogre onto your next aggressive deck!
This can be a true difference maker in the longer-lasting formats like Historic, Modern, and Commander. It’s a great card to consider for red decks that need to get a combat advantage on an opponent.
A lot has to happen for this planeswalker to give your creatures haste. It comes from the final ability, which means Ellywick Tumblestrum must survive and grow for multiple turns.
This planeswalker has a base loyalty of four and has to spend seven loyalty points to become a haste enabler. It’s a tall order if gaining haste is your goal, but at least you only have to spend six loyalty points in Alchemy.
Do think you can out power your opponent and that giving them speed won’t make a difference? Concordant Crossroads is a great sideboard or gamble card to cheaply give your creatures haste.
The downside is that your opponents’ creatures also get haste. This is a fantastic addition in eternal formats if you know or discover that you’re playing against noncreature decks.
Ulvenwald Oddity is the perfect addition to the mono-green Standard or Commander deck. The 4-mana Oddity can strike hard and fast when you need the damage immediately. All your creatures get strikingly better when this card is transformed.
War of the Spark unleashed a lot planeswalkers. Samut, Tyrant Smasher is on the weaker end of the scale of these planeswalkers.
It’s nice to give all your creatures haste, and Samut even gives a creature haste with a loyalty ability in case of removal. There are no abilities to increase the loyalty points, so this card doesn’t have the power to be added to many competitive decks.
Building a warrior Commander deck? Do you want all your warriors to attack much faster? Rushblade Commander is the answer to these burning questions.
It’s also great in a Two-Headed Giant event as the card reads “team” instead of “player.”
Garna, the Bloodflame is an interesting card because it looks like it has so much value, but it doesn’t always pay off. It could be a great board changing presence in an aristocrat-based deck by flipping the board advantage then giving all your creatures haste.
This seems great, but the mana cost and specific scenario where this card excels make it much less viable in a lot of Rakdos () decks.
This card pumps and gives your satyrs haste with the extra benefit of drawing more cards if you attack with three or more creatures. It’s not the most exciting card, but it has some value in Limited.
From New Capenna Commander comes a token boosting machine. Phabine, Boss's Confidant can give all your tokens haste, and its parley ability at the beginning of combat on your turn gives you tokens or pumps your creatures.
It’s a very fine card for the Naya () enthusiasts in the eternal formats.
If you’re building a Rakdos minotaur deck, have fun with Kragma Warcaller.
This card gives you colorless mana to use for your equipment and gives equipped creatures flying and haste. I think it’s an interesting card to test your deckbuilding skills.
Alibou, Ancient Witness is a nice commander if you need new ideas. This card focuses on the white, red, and colorless artifacts that want to attack often.
It gives all your artifact creatures haste, and it does damage and scrys whenever you attack with one or more artifact creatures. What do you have to lose?
You can often find some really broken cards in the Masters sets. Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer is a token-creating, token-changing, haste-enabling beast! To truly unlock the power of this card, make sure you’re using it in an eternal deck that makes a lot of big creature tokens.
If there's a color group that can use haste more than mono-red, it's Gruul (). Fires of Yavimaya is a lovely enchantment for eternal Gruul decks. It can speed up your wild Gruul creatures, and it can be sacrificed as a final punch to give a creature +2/+2.
Dragons might be my favorite tribal deck. Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund gives all your dragons haste. It takes a lot of mana and resources to get to, but you swing with your big dragons at a speed your opponent probably can’t survive if it stays alive for a few turns.
Slivers are great tribal creatures because they always have abilities that read, “sliver creatures you control gain/have (ability).” There are slivers of all colors that grant all your other slivers haste. If you’re building a Historic, Modern, or Commander sliver deck, include one of these creatures to speed up your assault.
Jund () is another color combination where speed comes to mind, and Madrush Cyclops fits very well. It’s relatively cheap for a 3/4, and getting three different mana colors isn’t hard in Constructed formats.
All your Jund creatures swing much faster once Madrush Cyclops is on the board.
Maelstrom Wanderer is the eternal format’s answer to how you can have fast creatures and fast spells. The 7-mana cost is very steep. The double cascading effects will start to dominate your opponent if it resolves for a turn or two.
I believe Maelstorm Wanderer is a wonderful commander or addition to any late game and big effects deck.
Samut, Voice of Dissent can be an excellent blocker with flash and double strike, and it prepares your creatures to attack by enabling haste. It’s legal in most non-Standard sets and can be used as a commander for the green, red, and white colors because of its activated ability.
What a nasty dragon. Dragonlord Kolaghan is a big, fast, flying creature that also enables your other creatures to have haste. The extreme value in this card is its static ability.
Think about how many decks rely on having multiple copies of the same bomb creatures or planeswalkers. This card has a ton of value in Pioneer and Modern, but a lot less in the singleton Commander format.
#1. Temur Ascendancy
This is a real Temur () gem. For three mana (one of each of the Temur colors), your creatures gain haste and you can get multiple draw triggers. This is a must-have card for any Pioneer, Modern, or eternal Temur decks that want to be aggressive.
Best Colorless Haste Enabler
#2. Crashing Drawbridge
Not only does Crashing Drawbridge make sense thematically, it's also good. Tapping it to give all your creatures haste, and it's a standard 2-mana 0/4 blocker? I'm in.
It's a bit odd, still, to be playing a creature with defender in a deck that would otherwise love to give its creatures haste. Will this be an outlier in a low-curve aggro deck, or will it be the secret tech to launch forward an army of walls?
Akroma's Memorial is the bomb card you hope to get to at the end of your game. It gives all your creatures a crazy number of keywords, including haste. Seven mana is very steep for an artifact that needs other creatures to be successful.
Hopefully your board hasn’t been wiped too much and you can swing fast and hard. The true value of this card is that it’s colorless and can fit into lots of different decks in Modern, Historic, and eternal.
Best Haste Enabler PayoffsBird of Paradise
For the Gruul or Jund lovers, a Bird of Paradise is a great addition to make sure you can get to your haste granters quickly.
Another great option for haste and protection is Swiftfoot Boots.
Temur Ascendancy | Illustration by Jaime Jones
Hopefully you’ve been Ent-like and weren’t too hasty a reader! Haste is a fantastic ability and is one of my favorite evergreen keywords in MTG. I always try to find the ways to give it to all my creatures or spells. Get out there, builds those decks, and make all your creatures speed freaks.
Do you have a favorite haste enabler? What decks benefit from it most? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.
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