Last updated on September 14, 2022
Alela, Artful Provocateur | Illustration by Grzegorz Rutkowski
From the mysterious dark woods, there’s a name for the culprits of mischief in fantasy: faeries. They’re the agents of mysticism in many stories, not to be trifled with. In other stories they provide fantastic and magical help to those in need. However they’re viewed, they’re essential to folklore and fantasy genres.
Magic is no exception to this influence. Faeries in the MTG universe were popularized in Throne of Eldraine with its parallels to many fairy tales. Faeries aren’t the most common of all creature types, but we have over 100 examples of faerie cards since the release of Homelands in 1995.
But which faeries can help you in your deckbuilding and general gameplay? Let’s talk about some of these magical flying beings!
What are Faeries in MTG?
Nymris, Oona’s Trickster | Illustration by Johannes Voss
Faeries are a creature type that’s often paired with another subtype to describe the kind of faerie they are (faerie knight or faerie rogue). They all have flying and many have flash so they can be cast at instant speed. Faeries often deal with buffing creatures or creating interactions with your opponent’s strategy.
Best White Faeries
#2. Faerie Guidemother
Faerie Guidemother seems unassuming at first glance, but it might be good if you want a very aggressive and low-curve deck. Play its adventure spell with cheap aggressive creatures like Clever Lumimancer. This faerie can fit into some very specific white aggro and cheap instant/sorcery decks.
I’m a big fan of making my opponent’s strategy useless, or at the very least difficult to execute. Look at most competitive or even just well-developed decks and you can probably find some ETB or dying triggers.
You can take care of those nuisances with this little cutie. Keep in mind that Hushbringer‘s effect affects you too, so make sure to build around that as needed.
Best Blue Faeries
#15. Sprite Noble
Flying is a staple for most creature-centric decks with blue. You’ll have relatively easy paths to deal damage if your opponent doesn’t have a flying blocker or the removal they need. And you can tap Sprite Noble to pump all your fliers and hopefully land that lethal blow when the moment is right. This faerie doesn’t provide many other benefits outside of this strategy.
#14. Sower of Temptation
Capturing creatures isn’t often used in many decks but could have some serious game-winning upsides. For four mana you get a 2/2 flier and have the opportunity to take your opponent’s best creature until Sower of Temptation is removed.
This is a nice board changer at a very acceptable price. Of course, the downside here is how susceptible the card is to removal.
#13. Faerie Vandal
A fun new Standard deck is Faerie Vandal with all the connive abilities from Streets of New Capenna. This build allows you to build big creatures while saving mana to protect them or remove your opponent’s board presence. This is a great addition to any blue draw or flash decks.
#12. Faerie Swarm
Creatures with */* as their power and toughness can be very interesting. It all depends on how you build around them and use them.
Faerie Swarm can be a huge creature for only four mana if you can manage to get a lot of small blue faeries or other blue permanents onto the board. A decent card if you can go wide with your first several turns.
#11. Faerie Harbinger
Developing a faerie deck? Faerie Harbinger allows you to find the exact faerie you need. Tutors have high potential payoffs if you can slow down your opponents, and you can play your new faerie on your next turn without missing a beat since this card can be played during your opponent’s end step.
#10. Cloud of Faeries
A problem a lot of players have in the early game is not having enough mana. If you have two mana and play a creature, they’re susceptible to removal with your lands tapped.
Cloud of Faeries allows you to build some board presence with a flying creature and untap the two lands you just used. This can free you up to counter an opponent’s spell with Jwari Disruption, or filter your draws with Brainstorm. If you draw this card in the mid- to late-game, it has cycling to give you a draw for a better card.
#9. Faerie Formation
You can widen your board presence and develop card advantage in one fell swoop with Faerie Formation. This faerie allows you to create some more chump blockers and increase the options in your hand with card draw if it isn’t removed quickly.
I also really like the fact that you can activate its ability at instant speed. This fits into a lot of blue decks by letting your opponent make the first move and coming back with a nice retort. A nice addition to blue control or faerie tribal decks, from Pioneer to Historic.
#8. Knacksaw Clique
The symbol on Knacksaw Clique represents an untap action, meaning you can untap this card once it’s tapped and get a chance to steal a card from your opponent. At the very least you’re removing the chance for your opponent to use the card.
But this card does need a little bit of mana and time to truly get some bigger payoffs. I wouldn’t play four copies in a deck, but it can be a nice addition to a larger strategy.
#7. Scion of Oona
I’ll be the first person to tell you that I want to know what kind of flash cards I can use when I’m thinking of building a blue deck. Instant-speed creatures open up the ability to wait and allow your opponent to over-extend. If you decide to swing wide or your opponent believes they can run over your little faeries, flash in Scion of Oona and watch the board dynamic change rapidly.
#6. Glen Elendra Archmage
#5. Faerie Artisans
To mirror an opponent’s moves while making some of your own seems like an advantage in almost any circumstance. You can sit back and enjoy the benefits of your opponent’s hard work with Faerie Artisans.
#4. Spellstutter Sprite
Spellstutter Sprite is a perfect addition to Dimir () control decks in Modern or Commander. The instant-speed creature and ability to counter a spell gives you a 2-for-1 punch.
#3. Fae of Wishes
This faerie can go on an adventure to get you the cards you need from your sideboard. The ability to grab some much-needed situational help from the sideboard when you need it is extremely powerful.
Fae of Wishes is a great addition to control decks that want to use their sideboard. Your sideboard can now include absolute bombs like Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, or a much-needed Farewell to ensure your victory. Not as strong in Limited formats, but it’s a definite keeper in Constructed.
#2. Vendilion Clique
Three mana for a 3/1 flier with flash is a cost-effective move with high potential. The ETB effect is what makes Vendilion Clique a bomb in a lot of Constructed builds. You can choose a nonland card from your opponent’s hand and they put it on the bottom of their library. You can get a decently powered flier and remove an opponent’s best card at instant speed.
Vendilion Clique is a great addition to aggro and control decks in Commander and Modern.
#1. Brazen Borrower
From personal experience, Brazen Borrower is both a lifesaver and a nuisance. Many cards from Throne of Eldraine are absolute staples in any deck they can fit in. Having been rotated out of Standard now, these adventure cards can still wreak havoc in Modern and Commander.
The fact that you get an instant-speed bounce card and then you can have an instant speed creature in a single card is truly amazing. Sit and wait for some sort of interaction from an opponent and their creature, bounce the sucker, and drop a 3-power flier on the board on your opponent’s next turn. Good night!
Best Black Faeries
#7. Thieving Sprite
I think an underappreciated strategy in MTG is making your opponent discard. Sure, it has some obvious weaknesses like decks that draw a lot or reanimator decks. But discard can be a real strategy buster for all the other types of decks.
#6. Marsh Flitter
Goblins and faeries aren’t a combination of creatures that I think about often. But they’re both usually small creatures that rely on going wide and having some extra benefits to overwhelm your opponent.
Marsh Flitter‘s mana value is rather rough for a 1/1 creature, but you do get the added benefit of creating two 1/1 Goblins. I think this card is very limited with its strengths and would only belong in a deck with goblins to maximize the payoffs.
#5. Faerie Tauntings
Faerie Tauntings fits perfectly into any instant or flash decks that use or splash black. Instant speed gives you such an advantage over so many strategies. Aggro, control, and ramp should all fear instant-speed decks.
Get this faerie out on turn 3 then let your opponent decide how they want to face your instants and flash creatures. Every instant-speed interaction you have after playing this card will gnaw away at your opponent’s life total as you set up your other deadly strategies.
Enchantments aren’t always easily removed, and Bitterblossom can help you develop the board presence you need. It fits well into a faerie tribal, rogue tribal, and enchantment decks.
#3. Puppeteer Clique
Five mana may seem like a steep price, but you may be able to steal a bomb card from your opponent if Puppeteer Clique is paired with some early removal in a deck. Taking a creature from your opponent’s graveyard pairs well with aggressive decks and as a defense against some deck strategies.
This faerie might just be your answer to reanimator decks. You also get a bonus of bringing this creature back with persist and stealing another card again.
#2. Oona’s Blackguard
A nice characteristic of faerie cards is the fact that they usually share a creature type with more popular tribal themes. Rogue decks are a staple in many formats because of their tribal synergies and flexibility. Faeries and rogues are great when you can swing wide and hard with smaller creatures.
Oona’s Blackguard‘s benefits are twofold. Building your board presence by having each of your rogues enter with a +1/+1 counter is a very nice way to add some pressure to your opponent. Now your opponent has to discard a card whenever a creature (not just a rogue) deals combat damage. A decent card for emptying your opponent’s options while growing your own.
#1. Rankle, Master of Pranks
There are so many decks out there that will have no defense to a flying creature with haste. So the fun begins once combat damage is done. I love the versatility that Rankle, Master of Pranks gives in controlling the tempo of the game.
You can choose one, two, or all three of the options depending on the situation. This card is an amazing addition to any black deck that wants to blow up your opponent’s strategy. But you also have to suffer the consequences, so plan your decisions carefully.
Best Multicolored Faeries
#8. Rubina Soulsinger
Sick of your opponent’s pesky creatures? Well, why not take one and use it against them?
You can tap Rubinia Soulsinger to gain control of a creature as long as the faerie is tapped. You also have the option to not untap it, which lets you keep control of the creature. An interesting interaction is taking a creature and untapping Rubinia to take a better creature your opponent plays later.
This might be a strong card if you can keep turning your opponent’s creatures into cannon fodder.
#7. Diamond Faerie
Five mana with three different colors is a tough ask for a 3/3 creature. Fortunately for certain builds, this card does have potential.
Diamond Faerie’s ability can be activated to pump all your snow creatures. What’s great is that it pumps itself and its ability can be activated multiple times per turn. You can pump all your snow creatures by +3/+3 if you have six snow mana.
I can see how this card can quickly snowball out of hand.
#6. Wee Dragonauts
This was a nice card for Limited play in Guilds of Ravnica. Wee Dragonauts gets a single-turn pump for every instant or sorcery you play.
Where this card can get interesting is putting your opponent in a guessing game when dealing with your instants. Fun interactions can be had with this, and I hope you consider it for any storm or instant/sorcery decks.
#5. Nymris, Oona’s Trickster
Nymris, Oona’s Trickster is a great flash card that can help you weed through the unnecessary cards in your deck. Grabbing a card out of two and tossing the unwanted one is a very good way to get to the cards you truly need to dominate. It would be nice to have a little more power, but flashing in a flying blocker with six toughness can stop a lot of threats.
But playing this card during an opponent’s turn doesn’t trigger its ability. If your opponent is tapped out, though, then you’ll be able to reap the benefits on the following turn with any instants or creatures with flash.
#4. Glen Elendra Liege
Giving benefits to a color instead of a creature type can really open up the potential of a card. Glen Elendra Liege is great for increasing the size of creatures in Dimir () decks. It benefits both blue and black creatures and you can double dip if you have a blue- and black-colored card.
This faerie doesn’t have to be in a faerie deck to be strong, so consider it whenever developing an attacking creature-centric deck in blue and black.
#3. Sprite Dragon
This little guy should be on every Izzet () player’s mind. You may not always put it in every Izzet deck, but at least give it the consideration it deserves. If Sprite Dragon resolves through a turn or two, it can be pumped up with multiple cheap spells.
#2. Alela, Artful Provocateur
Alela, Artful Provocateur is solid as a commander or as part of the 99. You have lifelink, deathtouch, a pump for flying creatures (that aren’t easily blocked), and a way to create more flying creatures.
I like the idea of pairing flying creatures with tempo enchantments or artifacts. I don’t believe there’s much to complain about this card since it can be used in so many ways.
#1. Oona, Queen of the Fae
The queen of your next faerie tribal deck has arrived, and its name is Oona, Queen of the Fae. Oona is very curve-friendly with the option of using blue or black mana to pay its cost.
I envision this card as the focus and bomb card of a deck. Build in some ways to increase your mana pool, remove early threats, and play some early creature cards to force your opponent to use up their removal spells.
If you don’t see this as the centerpiece, then the fact that its cost is very flexible should still make Oona a very desirable card for some control and mill decks.
Best Faerie Payoffs
So what can we do with all these faeries now? Well, let’s talk about some of the big payoffs. Here are some of the cards to pair with the faerie cards and what deck strategies they best fit into.
For Standard, pair your faeries with cards with connive from Streets of New Capenna. Raffine, Scheming Seer complements your flying attackers nicely.
The flash keyword many faeries have can give you more payoffs with cards like Slitherwisp.
Competitive faerie decks often focus on the flash mechanic and are usually used in Dimir decks. A lot of these decks use faeries with flash like Brazen Borrower and Spellstutter Sprite. With the Dimir colors you can also focus on controlling the board with cards like Drown in the Loch, Fatal Push, and March of Wretched Sorrow.
Rubinia Soulsinger | Illustration by Cynthia Sheppard
Faeries are enjoyable characters in any fantasy story, and I believe Magic has taken an interesting approach with them. Blue faeries dominate the creature type and pair well with aggro and control decks alike. The black faeries play tricks on your opponents and can be used to gain leverage in a game. The multicolored faeries are the real bombs of the creature type and can be the focal point of a deck or support to plenty of flying or control decks.
So go to your local game store or hop on Arena and design some new and interesting decks using these tricky little creatures. What did you think of these rankings? Are some of these impish little fliers ranked too high, or maybe too low? Let me know in the comments below, or you can share your thoughts over on Twitter.
In the meantime, watch out for all those pesky faeries. I’ll see you all next time!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: