Last updated on August 16, 2023

Starfield of Nyx - Illustration by Tyler Jacobson

Starfield of Nyx | Illustration by Tyler Jacobson

Welcome to a most animating and enchanting experience. Today I’m looking at animating enchantments, which you can do in a few different ways but with the same results. If you turn your enchantments into creatures, you can increase and protect your board presence.

Animating noncreatures has always been a wonderful strategy to avoid removal and board wipes. Let’s look at the cards that can animate enchantments along with the enchantments that can come to life themselves. A lot of these cards can be inserted into competitive decks, or they can be the strategy you build around.

Either way, let’s check them out!

What Is Enchantment Animation in MTG?

Zur, Eternal Schemer (Dominaria United) - Illustration by Dan Mumford

Zur, Eternal Schemer (Dominaria United) | Illustration by Dan Mumford

There are three different categories of enchantments that turn into creatures: enchantments that turn into creatures based on what you do (self-animating), enchantments that lie in wait for your opponent to do something (sleeping enchantment), and spells or abilities that animate your enchantments (enchantment animating). They all have different histories and play styles, so let’s look at them individually.

Self-animating cards are enchantments that wait to be animated by one of your other actions or your activation. They can work as traps, mana sinks, or additional board presence from your normal strategy plays. Examples of these cards have been around since Odyssey.

Sleeping enchantment cards come in cycles and await some trigger to awaken them into creatures. The four cycles of sleeping enchantments are hidden, opal, veiled, and lurking. A lot of these cards come from older sets like Urza’s Legacy and Urza’s Saga.

Enchantment animating cards spells or abilities can animate a target or all your enchantments. There aren’t many of these cards, but they’re as old as the Urza’s Destiny and as new as Dominaria United.

You’ll notice that gods from Theros and Theros: Beyond Death aren’t here. They can change between being creatures and not depending on your devotion, which means they can enter the battlefield “pre-animated.” But that’s not really animation, so this is a god-free zone.

Best Self-Animating Enchantments

#10. Testament of Faith

Testament of Faith

Testament of Faith is a cheap answer for defense. It has a mana value of one, and you can make a wall as big as you need with the X activated cost.

#9. Obscuring Aether

Obscuring Aether

Obscuring Aether is a nice addition to decks with morph and megamorph. It can lower the cost of playing cards face down and can turn into a face down creature itself. Outside of that play style, there’s not much value.

#8. Lurking Evil

Lurking Evil

Lurking Evil has a staggering activation cost. Half of your life!? That’s wild, but this card may fit in with some interesting combo decks, like decks that focus on your loss of life, black devotion, or maybe just need that 4/4 flying creature for one last swing.

#7. Still Life

Still Life

Still Life is a nice example of having a strong enchantment creature that’s safe from most removal. The three CMC and two mana activation cost are reasonable for animating a creature when you need it.

#6. Myth Realized

Myth Realized

Myth Realized is a wonderful card for a noncreature deck. It can grow to massive sizes based on the number of lore counters it has. Get your noncreature spells and control decks ready and make sure to consider Myth Realized in them.

#5. Reptilian Reflection

Reptilian Reflection

Reptilian Reflection is one of the bigger animating enchantments on this list. At 5/4, it can pack a punch for your cycling decks. You can draw a card and have your big creature too.

#4. Halcyon Glaze

Halcyon Glaze

Halcyon Glaze is an excellent blue enchantment to add to creature-centric decks that involve blue. It triggers whenever you play another creature, and a 4/4 flying creature isn’t something your opponent can afford to take lightly.

#3. Daxos’s Torment

Daxos's Torment

Daxos's Torment is a nice self-animating enchantment because it enters as a creature with haste on the first turn. The turns after, it animates when an enchantment ETB under your control. This card plays well in enchantment decks that splash black in Eternal and Oathbreaker formats.

#2. Answered Prayers

Answered Prayers

White aggro is all about the creatures and their synergies. Answered Prayers fits this model well. You gain a life and can animate Answered Prayers into a 3/3 flying creature whenever another creature ETBs under your control.

#1. Riddleform


For these self-animating enchantments, a triggered animation is much better than an activated one. Riddleform turns into a 3/3 flying creature whenever you cast a noncreature spell. This is wonderful for storm, aggro, and enchantment decks. Riddleform is widely available in many formats and is a solid playable enchantment.

Best Sleeping Enchantments

#22. Opal Gargoyle

Opal Gargoyle

A 2/2 flying creature for two mana like Opal Gargoyle is nothing special. Not to mention that if you play against a noncreature deck you have sacrificed a chance of having a useful card.

#21. Veil of Birds

Veil of Birds

Veil of Birds is easy to cast, easy to animate, but also easy to pass on. There are plenty of 1/1 flying creatures that don’t rely on what your opponent does.

#20. Veiled Apparition

Veiled Apparition

A 3/3 flying creature for two mana is a good deal. However, the upkeep cost of Veiled Apparition keeps it out of most decks. I can say I’m happy we don’t have many cards with upkeep costs anymore.

#19. Veiled Sentry

Veiled Sentry

Veiled Sentry is an interesting card. It animates into an Illusion creature with power and toughness equal to the mana value of an opponent’s next successfully cast spell. You can have a big or a tiny creature depending on your opponent’s strategy. I don’t like the variance and uncertainty here.

#18. Veiled Serpent

Veiled Serpent

Veiled Serpent is a decent sized creature that most likely ETBs relatively quickly. The possibility of not being able to attack isn’t great, but the cycling gives it a slight bump in value.

#17. Opal Caryatid

Opal Caryatid

A 2/2 soldier for one mana can have some serious value in a soldier tribal deck. Opal Caryatid can fit well with cards like Valiant Veteran. You just have to hope your opponent plays a creature relatively quickly.

#16. Opal Avenger

Opal Avenger

Life insurance! Get your life insurance here!

Opal Avenger is an enchantment that’ll animate when you’re low on life. The stats of this card are decent, but I feel that soldier tribal decks should be more aggressive.

#15. Veiled Crocodile

Veiled Crocodile

Veiled Crocodile may be a fun card to include in a discard deck. If you can get rid of your opponent’s hand, you’ll have a decent size creature.

#14. Hidden Spider

Hidden Spider

Hidden Spider is a fun enchantment to counter pesky flying decks. It’s cheap and has good stats, but it’s limited by what your opponent plays. This card is a solid sideboard piece.

#13. Opal Guardian

Hidden Spider

Opal Guardian is a mono-white enchantment that can slot into your sideboard. If you’re playing against a red deck, this card may have some value as a blocker or flying creature.

#12. Hidden Predators

Hidden Predators

Hidden Predators is a cheap answer to keep up your board presence with your opponent. If they have big creatures, you’ll get another one on the cheap.

#11. Lurking Jackals

Lurking Jackals

Lurking Jackals is a card to add to an aggressive black deck in Eternal or Oathbreaker formats. Once you’ve done enough damage to your opponent, you can get another creature by animating this enchantment.

#10. Hidden Gibbons

Hidden Gibbons

Hidden Gibbons is a great answer to your opponent’s instant spells. They’re still going to use them, but you at least gain a 4/4 creature out of it. This may change your opponent’s strategy just enough for you to strike!

#9. Hidden Herd

Hidden Herd

Non-basic lands are rampant in most Constructed formats. Why not benefit from your opponent playing them with Hidden Herd? It’s cheap and can help your aggressive green deck take on complicated and multicolor control decks.

#8. Hidden Stag

Hidden Stag

Hidden Stag has an interesting animation and “deanimation” interaction. It animates when your opponent plays a land, and it becomes an enchantment when you play a land. This has some value in protecting it, just make sure to play your land on your second main.

#7. Opal Champion

Opal Champion

Opal Champion can become a 3/3 knight with first strike. This card can be a decent creature for a knight deck, but it lacks value for many other white decks.

#6. Hidden Ancients

Hidden Ancients

Hidden Ancients has the possibility of giving you a big creature for cheap. The only downside is the animation is triggered by an opponent casting an enchantment. This may not happen reliably enough, but if it does you should be gaining a mana and creature advantage.

#5. Opal Archangel

Opal Archangel

Opal Archangel has good stats and keywords, and if it’s animated you’ll have a good creature to attack with. The ultimate downside is depending on your opponent’s actions.

#4. Hidden Guerrillas

Hidden Guerrillas

Hidden Guerrillas is a sideboard piece for artifact hate. At a mana value of one, you can potentially get a 5/3 creature with trample. That’s a wonderful advantage against artifacts.

#3. Lurking Skirge

Lurking Skirge

Lurking Skirge is a decent enchantment for removal-style black decks. When you destroy or make an opponent discard a creature, it animates to give you a decent flying creature.

#2. Opal Acrolith

Opal Acrolith

Opal Acrolith is an interesting opal enchantment card. It can change back into an enchantment as a form of protection. If your opponent plays some creatures, this card works as a decent creature that can protect itself for free.

#1. Opal Titan

Opal Titan

Opal Titan is a nice way to assure that you have a creature with protection from your opponent’s spells. The hope is to have a creature that can attack without harm.

Best Enchantment Animation Cards

#4. Opalescence


Opalescence is the centerpiece for a certain kind of deck. You can use many enchantments for mana fixing, removal, and other useful interactions. Once you have a good enchantment presence, play Opalescence and you’ll have yourself an army!

#3. Dance of the Manse

Dance of the Manse

Dance of the Manse is a control enchantment deck combo piece. If you can control the board and build your mana pool, you can surprise your opponent with returned enchantments that are also 4/4 creatures in the endgame. This works with artifacts and enchantments so load up!

#2. Starfield of Nyx

Starfield of Nyx

Starfield of Nyx is a wonderful card for enchantment decks. It returns enchantments from your graveyard each turn and animates them once you have five or more. This turns your effective enchantments into creatures and ensures you can return the ones that are destroyed.

#1. Zur, Eternal Schemer

Zur, Eternal Schemer

Zur, Eternal Schemer a creature and commander that animates enchantments. It also gives them three wonderful keywords. You have to pay to animate your enchantments, but even a cost of two mana should let you overpower your opponent in no time.

Best Enchantment Animation Payoffs

If animating enchantments is your strategy, you need some good removal and control enchantment cards like Cast Out, Ghostly Prison, and Monologue Tax.

Creatures like Celestial Ancient, Mesa Enchantress, Starfield Mystic, and Zur the Enchanter benefit from your enchantments even before they’re animated.

For the best payoff, look to high mana value enchantments that don’t cost you as much to cast. Cards like Leyline Binding, As Foretold, Heliod, the Warped Eclipse give you massive mana and creature advantages when your enchantments are animated.

One strength of animating enchantments is that it usually can act as a trap. If you pair your animating enchantments with instants like Brought Back, Vampiric Tutor, or Heroic Intervention, your opponent will fall into a trap somewhere.

Some enchantments and spells can copy permanents. If you copy a creature, you now essentially have an animated enchantment. Cards like Crystalline Resonance, Mirrormade, and Copy Enchantment can fit this playstyle.

If you want to get around some of the devotion requirements of some of the god creatures, you can always just animate them. Gods like Athreos, Shroud-Veiled, Heliod, God of the Sun, and Thassa, Deep-Dwelling can be excellent if you animate them quickly.

If you don’t want to solely build around enchantment animators, here are some good enchantments that make creature tokens: Sigil of the Empty Throne, Ayula's Influence, and Bitterblossom.

As far as planeswalkers and commanders go, some that can benefit from animated enchantments are Narset Transcendent, Sythis, Harvest's Hand, Calix, Destiny's Hand, and Alela, Artful Provocateur.

Wrap Up

Riddleform - Illustration by Steve Argyle

Riddleform | Illustration by Steve Argyle

Wow! Who knew there were so many options for turning enchantments into creatures? We only have four enchantment animators, but the enchantments that can turn into creatures also have value. I hope that I gave you some good information on using your cards to the maximum.

Which enchantment animation effects do you like to use? Do you prefer enchantments that animate themselves, or other spells that animation your enchantments? Let me know in the comments below, or over on the official Draftsim Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!

Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates:

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *