Last updated on March 19, 2024

Manamorphose - Illustration by Adam Paquette

Manamorphose | Illustration by Adam Paquette

When I think of card draw in Magic, my mind first goes to blue. And unless I’m playing it, gods know I love to pick on blue players. Naturally, all colors in Magic have ways to draw cards, but what about when colors team up? Specifically, how do blue’s enemy colors draw when they come together?

Gruul () is definitely not the color pairing I think of when I want to draw a bunch of cards, so let’s see just how much card draw these two can offer. Spoiler: It ain’t much.

What Are Gruul Draw Cards in MTG?

Territorial Kavu - Illustration by E. M. Gist

Territorial Kavu | Illustration by E. M. Gist

Gruul draw cards have both green and red in their mana costs and/or rules text if we’re talking Commander color identities. Red and green both individually have their own solid draw effects, but I’m focused on 2-color cards today.

Gruul draw cards allow you to draw one or multiple cards. Gruul also plays around with effects like Borborygmos Enraged and Domri Rade that allow you to reveal cards before putting them in your hand, but I’m leaving those effects aside. Drawing a card doesn’t reveal it, and I value keeping that information private.

#11. Unnatural Moonrise

Unnatural Moonrise

Unnatural Moonrise just feels way too situational. Werewolves are its obvious home, and the flashback is nice. But it relies on your creature dealing combat damage to get you that card draw. The trample helps, but your opponents may still have instant speed removal.

#10. Invasion of Ergamon / Truga Cliffcharger

Invasion of Ergamon Truga Cliffcharger

Invasion of Ergamon gives you a looting opportunity as part of its ETB. 2 mana for a Treasure and a loot sounds like a good trade, so the potential rhino on the flip side is just gravy. Of course, you could always just use it in a deck that cares about the number of card or permanent types you have, like finding a way to sac it to make Korvold, Gleeful Glutton cheaper to cast.

#9. Territorial Kavu

Territorial Kavu

Territorial Kavu’s modal attack trigger gives you looting or graveyard hate. Its domain ability controls its power and toughness, which to me makes more sense if you’re going to throw this into a 5-color deck rather than a dedicated Gruul one.

#8. Hansk, Slayer Zealot (Daryl, Hunter of Walkers)

Daryl, Hunter of Walkers

Hansk, Slayer Zealot gives you a built-in way to give your opponents some zombies and take them out. Note that the death payoff ability here doesn’t care if the dying zombies are Walkers or not, so you can get a lot of cards playing against a zombie typal deck like Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver.

Whether it’s the Secret Lair printing of Daryl, Hunter of Walkers or the Universes Within copy of Hansk, they aren’t as easy to track down, so that’s less fun.

#7. Kogla and Yidaro

Kogla and Yidaro

Kogla and Yidaro indeed has “draw a card” rules text, but it’s kind of buried in a pseudo-cycling effect. Is it really cycling if you shuffle the card back into your library? Either way, Kogla and Yidaro can be some targeted artifact or enchantment hate for you, and I wouldn’t mind running it in all kinds of other RG+ homes. I wonder if any of the other cards here can take advantage of a 7/7….

#6. Samut, Vizier of Naktamun

Samut, Vizier of Naktamun

Being a mythic rare from March of the Machine: The Aftermath isn’t doing much for getting Samut, Vizier of Naktamun into players’ collections, let alone decks, but it’s a neat little haste payoff. Samut pays you in cards when creatures that entered the battlefield this turn deal combat damage to players, so the other possible home is blink. Maybe not with this color combo….

Personally, I use Samut, Vizier of Naktamun in my Gallia of the Endless Dance deck since Gallia also works as a satyr haste enabler.

#5. Gallia of the Endless Dance

Gallia of the Endless Dance

I have a soft spot for this little satyr, and I spent part of a summer putting together a satyr Commander deck around it. Gallia of the Endless Dance gives you two cards if you discard one at random, which is a higher reward for the same level of risk as regular looting. You’ll need to go wide, but you brought your Xenagos, the Reveler along to pump out Satyr tokens for 0 loyalty, right?

#4. Tovolar, Dire Overlord / Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge

Tovolar, Dire Overlord Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge

Both sides of Tovolar, Dire Overlord / Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge have the same first ability that cares about your wolves and werewolves. Are you going to go wide with tokens or tall with tramplers? There’s more than one way to get Tovolar going!

#3. Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes

Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes

I hesitate to call the second ability on Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes an ultimate, but it works so well as a sacrifice outlet that burns targets and gives you cards. You’ll almost always have a Boo in play to sacrifice if needed, but Gruul+ offers so many beefier creatures to feed this ability. Hello again, Kogla and Yidaro. And a bunch of them also have haste or trample so you can fatten them up for the slaughter with Minsc & Boo’s +1 ability!

#2. Manamorphose


I mean, it’s basically a free spell, as long as you have the initial mana to pump into your Manamorphose. I like that it doesn’t untap lands, since that’s useless if you don’t have anything that’s worth untapping. It’s also the type of spell I’d be happy to copy for extra cards and mana, especially if I’ve got and Upwelling or a similar, less symmetrical effect in play.

#1. Dragonborn Champion

Dragonborn Champion

Dragonborn Champion is tailormade for fitting into a deck with hard-hitting, evasive creature types. Like dragons! It doesn’t have to be combat damage, and it doesn’t have to be a creature. You can use fling effects, burn spells, and activated abilities to get there. Pack in some damage doublers to make even “weaker” burn effects give you card advantage.

Best Gruul Card Draw Payoffs

Green and red don’t really do much in terms of card draw payoffs, whether together or separate. There are some card draw payoffs like Mad Ratter and Irencrag Pyromancer that pay you off for drawing your second card each turn. There’s also Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse to pay you off for your second drawn card and turn your army into hulks based on the cards in your hand.

Wulfgar of Icewind Dale

For the triggered effects that care about attacking, Wulfgar of Icewind Dale is ready to double those triggers for more cards in your hand.

Card draw payoffs are more blue’s thing, so Temur may be the best RG+ space for those in general.

Xenagos, God of Revels

Naturally, devotion cards and other effects that care about casting red, green, or red and green spells like Xenagos, God of Revels and others can take advantage of playing any Gruul card, not just card draw.

Ghalta, Stampede Tyrant

Gruul can also be good at dropping a lot of creatures onto the board at once. For example, you’ll want a mittful of creatures if you’re planning on casting Ghalta, Stampede Tyrant.

Soul of Windgrace

Otherwise, having many cards in hand can be good if you’re looking to discard a bunch. Does that sound like a Soul of Windgrace-type of deck to you?

Wrap Up

Gallia of the Endless Dance MTG card art by Johannes Voss

Gallia of the Endless Dance | Illustration by Johannes Voss

And that’s all the Gruul pure card draw effects in Magic! Some colors just can’t compare to blue’s access to card advantage, but it’s interesting to dig into how different colors and color combinations go about it. Surprisingly or not, quite a few of these Gruul card draw effects play well together, whether it’s by pairing haste enablers with haste payoffs or by using big creatures to sacrifice to Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes.

Which Gruul cards do you like to use for card draw? Should I have covered the draw-adjacent effects that reveal cards from the top of your library? Let me know in the comments below, or come over to the Draftsim Discord.

Until next time, best of luck on your next draw!

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