Desecrate Reality | Illustration by Eli Minaya
I know you’re adamant about learning Magic: the Gathering. With so many mechanics, it can be difficult to keep up with them all. However, if you take it one step at a time, you can learn about each mechanic and eventually become the expert on your next game night.
Adamant is an MTG mechanic that was introduced in the past few years and gives a different or additional effect when spending a specific amount of colored mana on a spell. Let’s get adamant about learning this MTG ability. But first, let’s dive into a few details about the mechanic before introducing the 18 cards in this category.
Ardenvale Paladin | Illustration by Volkan Baga
You can get an additional or a different effect by casting one of these cards with 3 or more of the same-colored mana. For example, if the spell is blue, then you would need to spend 3 or more blue mana to reap the adamant benefits of the card. The two artifact creatures featured in this list work with 3 or more of any colored mana.
However, there is one adamant card printed in Commander Masters asking casters to spend 3 colorless mana for its special ability. You must have a source of colorless mana available to take advantage of this card’s adamant ability. Colorless lands, Sol Ring, Everflowing Chalice, and the like are all examples of cards you can use to pay the adamant colorless mana cost.
Eldraine is a setting that revolves around the five courts of the plane. Each court of knights holds diverse core values, but they all share the value of being adamant while serving their knightly position, hence the mechanic’s name.
Henge Walker is a great early-game attacker or blocker with a casting cost of only 3 mana. If you have 3 of the same color mana available early in the game, you can make it stronger with its adamant ability.
Does your opponent have a problem creature you need gone? Cast Slaying Fire at instant speed with 3 red mana to deal 4 damage to it. Otherwise, it still deals three damage. Include the card in commander decks such as Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, or Syr Carah, the Bold.
Use the card in a Gyome, Master Chef deck, where you can pay 1 mana and sacrifice a Food token to give one of your creatures indestructible until the end of turn. Don’t forget to include Academy Manufactor to also create come Clue and Treasure tokens.
Ardenvale Paladin already has high toughness, possibly making it one of your best blockers during the early part of the game. Casting the card for 3 or more white mana will transform the knight from a 2/5 into a 3/6 creature.
Embereth Paladin can come in as a 5/2 knight with haste as long as you pay 3 or more red mana to cast it. Equip Embereth Paladin with Steelclaw Lance for a +2/+2 boost. The equip cost will only be 1 mana instead of 3 because it’s a knight.
Locthwain Paladin’s menace ability will overrun your opponents with damage, especially if they do not have at least two creatures to block with during your combat step. Steelclaw Lance and Brimstone Trebuchet can also work, considering the card’s knight creature type.
Vantress Paladin can become a 3/3 flying creature when you pay its adamant cost of 3 or more blue mana. The synergistic cards for the other paladins can also work for Vantress Paladin because of its knight typing. With Knights' Charge on the battlefield, attacking with Vantress Paladin will cause you to gain a life and your opponents to each lose a life.
Exsanguinator Cavalry from March of the Machine Commander is a great way to pump up this card quickly as the card gives a +1/+1 counter to an attacking knight after it has dealt combat damage to an opponent.
Clockwork Servant is another fast creature to cast during the early game. Plus, you get to draw a card when you pay the adamant cost.
Have Myrsmith on the battlefield before casting Clockwork Servant to trigger its ability and create a 1/1 colorless Myr. In a Sai, Master Thopterist Commander deck, you can get a 1/1 colorless Thopter when you cast Clockwork Servant.
Searing Barrage is a better version of Slaying Fire because it deals 5 damage by itself to a target creature. You can deal 3 damage to the creature’s controller by taking advantage of the adamant ability.
Garenbrig Paladin is the best amongst the cycle of Paladins in Throne of Eldraine because it’s the most powerful after paying the adamant cost, transforming from a 4/4 to a 5/5 creature. It has a powerful evasion tactic where creatures with a power 2 or less can’t block it.
After casting Garenbrig Paladin, you can cast the adventure portion of Smitten Swordmaster, Curry Favor. You will gain life based on how many knight creatures you control and your opponents lose that much life.
Stave off a problem nonland permanent by a turn or two with Turn into a Pumpkin to return it to its owner’s hand. The Food token it comes with when paying the adamant cost can help you replace any life lost from the problem nonland permanent. This card was formerly the only blue card legal in Commander, Modern, and Pioneer that creates a Food token.
Big, green, and stompy creatures will benefit from the pump and temporary indestructibility Outmuscle brings to the table. Unfortunately, you can’t cast this card at instant speed to protect a creature from removal. However, as a sorcery card, you can get rid of a problem creature on your opponent’s side of the field while reassuring your creature stays alive.
Include this card in decks with a +1/+1 counter theme such as Mowu, Loyal Companion and Ayula, Queen Among Bears. After all, Outmuscle does have a bear on it, so why not include it in Ayula just for flavor purposes, too?
Pump up your army with Silverflame Ritual, and give all your creatures vigilance for a turn by casting it with adamant. Having your creatures gain vigilance until the end of your turn can keep them open for blocking on your opponent’s turn. This card works best in Commander decks with a token theme such as Rhys the Redeemed and Myrel, Shield of Argive.
As an instant card, you can save yourself from dying depending on how many creatures you have on the battlefield. Make four humans instead of two with Anointed Procession on the field before casting Rally for the Throne. Include this card in lifegain-themed decks such as Heliod, Sun-Crowned and Trostani, Selesnya's Voice for a great time!
Card draw is essential in MTG. How can you expeditiously play your deck unless you have access to its resources?
5 mana to draw three cards seems okay. But what makes Unexplained Vision even better is being able to scry three cards after drawing three cards off the top of your library so you can plan your next few turns ahead of time.
Cauldron's Gift is an awesome graveyard recursion card in black. As long as you pay 3 or more black mana, you can access more choices because you mill the top four cards before selecting a creature to return to the battlefield.
Send high mana cost commanders like The Ur-Dragon and Sheoldred, Whispering One to the graveyard, then bring them back with Cauldron's Gift instead to save a few mana rather than paying the extra 2 mana for commander tax.
Once and Future is a great graveyard recursion card to include in any deck featuring green. Without the adamant ability, you are already gaining access to two cards from your graveyard by just using one card. Both cards can go back to your hand instead of one of them by paying the adamant cost.
Rather than pay the extra 2 mana to recast your commander, especially if its actual cost is 4 or more mana, let the commander go to your graveyard when it dies. Then, you can cast Once and Future to save mana for casting other cards.
Despite its high mana cost, Desecrate Reality is the top adamant card because of its value. It works best in 3- to 4-player pods because you can exile one permanent of even mana value on each opponent’s board. Paying the adamant cost will benefit you in returning an odd mana value card you need from your graveyard to the battlefield.
Many payoff cards can make casting adamant cards worth your while. Have Boon Reflection on the battlefield before casting Rally for the Throne for its adamant ability so you can gain twice as much life.
Cards that give creatures that enter the battlefield +1/+1 counters such as Master Chef and Renata, Called to the Hunt work well for all the Paladins. They’re already pumped up by +1/+1 when their adamant cost is paid, and other +1/+1 counter effects like Branching Evolution can increase the number of +1/+1 counters they get.
For the two adamant cards that include Food tokens, have Anointed Procession and/or Parallel Lives on the battlefield to increase your token output. Have red damage doublers on the battlefield such as Dictate of the Twin Gods, City on Fire, and Solphim, Mayhem Dominus before casting Slaying Fire or Searing Barrage.
Adamant is not necessarily an alternate casting cost. The cost of the card is still the same. However, the color of mana used to cast the spell matters and determines whether or not the adamant ability happens.
For example, Rally for the Throne still costs two mana of any color and at least one white mana to cast and get the two human tokens. However, choosing to cast it using three white mana will bring out its adamant ability.
Adamant does not go on the stack. When you cast a card for its adamant cost, you must complete the effects in the order that the card reads.
For example, when you cast Unexplained Vision for its adamant cost, you will first draw three cards and then scry 3 (its adamant ability) because that is the order written on the card. Sometimes, you must do the adamant ability first like on Cauldron's Gift.
Adamant is not always a triggered ability, though some adamant abilities are, like Clockwork Servant. Fulfilling adamant will sometimes cause replacement effects on a card. If you cast these cards for the original cost without paying 3 or more of the same color mana, you will not reap the benefits of that card’s adamant ability.
Once and Future | Illustration by Nils Hamm
Adamant is a mechanic that gives you a better effect when you pay 3 mana of the one color specified on the card. If you’re running a deck with adamant cards, be sure to have enough of each colored mana necessary to get the adamant effect.
What is your favorite MTG adamant card? Would you use any of these adamant cards in a deck? Let us know in the comments below! I hope this has enhanced your deck-building strategy. Join our Discord to connect with other Magic players and connect with our staff, who are experts on the game. Go on and build your next deck!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: