Last updated on September 22, 2023
Cleric Class | Illustration by Alayna Danner
In order to evoke some of the sense of character development from Dungeons & Dragons in the crossover sets, Wizards implemented a few different mechanics to represent these aspects in an MTG way. One of these are the “class” enchantments, which are a very flavorful way to bring the feeling of building up your own D&D character to your deck.
Today we’re going to take a look at everything there is to know about these new enchantment types. Let’s dive right in!
What are Class Cards in MTG?
Bard Class | Illustration by Andrew Mar
Class cards were introduced in Forgotten Realms as an analogue to the character classes used in D&D. They’re like a cross between sagas and the “level up” creatures which were mainly seen in Rise of the Eldrazi.
Class cards are enchantments that can be “levelled up” by paying an associated mana cost. Levelling up sometimes means another static ability is now in effect, and sometimes it triggers a triggered ability.
Take Cleric Class for example. When it first enters the battlefield only the first level is active. When upgraded to level 2 by paying there’s a passive ability that triggers whenever you gain life. When upgrading to level 3 by paying it triggers the final ability, which reanimates a creature from your graveyard. You can’t activate the final ability again once it’s activated.
It’s also worth noting that all of the previous levels are still active when a particular level of the class is activated.
#13. Monk Class
There was a cycle of five 2-color class cards at rare in the original Forgotten Realms set, each in one of the enemy combos. Most were very specific to one play style and weren’t particularly exciting.
Monk Class is the first of these. It’s based around the idea that you want to cast two spells in a single turn, and could have been intended to be played with the black and white archetype from Kaldheim except that it’s in different colors.
Unfortunately it’s difficult to build around and not particularly interesting or powerful once you tick all of these boxes. Sorry, monk fans!
#12. Fighter Class
It’s a 2-mana equipment tutor with some extra upside at its base. The second and third levels may be a bit expensive for a deck that likely wants to be quite aggro, but you really can’t complain too much as an extra upside.
The second level in particular has some interesting uses. Reducing the cost of equipping things permanently is a fairly unique effect and has some particular interactions. Imagine only having to pay three mana to unequip and reequip Sunforger. That definitely has some synergies worth considering.
#11. Sorcerer Class
Another one of our 3-color rare classes, Sorcerer Class (unsurprisingly) cares about instants and sorceries. The abilities are quite an odd bunch, but they allow for some good synergies.
Paying two mana to loot for two isn’t the worst rate in the world. The second level costs two mana but could easily pay for itself in the right deck. And while it might seem like this is a bit at odds with a deck that doesn’t care about creature spells, there are plenty of Dragon Fodder-style instants and sorceries that can make multiple tokens.
The final level is a real storm payoff and enabler. And you really can’t complain when you have a nice portion of gravy on top of some decent effects like this.
It might be a specialized class but it would fit really well in a spellslinger deck like Veyran, Voice of Duality.
#10. Rogue Class
Rogue Class closes out the niche 2-colored cards at the bottom of the list. The observant among you may notice we’re one short. Patience, please.
This one is fairly unusual in that you really need to level it all of the way up for it to start doing its thing. The first two abilities are really just enablers for that, but it’s pretty powerful once you’ve spent nine(!) mana on it.
Not only that, but it’s a card that scales in power with your opponents if you’re playing Commander since it’s a Gonti, Lord of Luxury effect and you’re playing their cards. It’s never going to be overpowered, and that can be a good thing.
You need some good evasive creatures to get the most out of this. That suggests rogues as the best bet with ninjas as a nice backup. You’ll be looking either for a commander that cares about hitting your opponent like Anowon, the Ruin Thief, or something that makes it likely that you’ll get to hit the opponent with multiple creatures like Oona, Queen of the Fae.
#9. Warlock Class
Warlock Class is a bit more generic than a lot of the cards we’ve looked at so far. The abilities don’t point it in any particular direction, but it does seem to be particularly useful in an aggro build.
The first ability is a very black one. Something dies and your opponents lose life. Not bad, but not really good enough as a card by itself in a lot of cases.
But the second ability is pretty good. Drawing the best card out of your top three and the rest go into your graveyards. This card could see some play in very particular decks even if it was just a sorcery for .
The last level is expensive but potentially devastating in the right build. It essentially doubles the amount of damage you can do, making it much easier than normal to kill your opponent through damage.
This is good in creature aggro as well as decks built around draining life. And while it may not be quite as powerful as the previous cards when they’re in just the right deck, it’s a lot more versatile.
#8. Druid Class
Druid Class is another card that can probably slip into any deck in its colors. It’s all about land synergies and gains you a bit of life to keep going as you level it up.
The problem here is that it’s just a bit lackluster. None of the abilities seem particularly interesting or unique and it doesn’t feel like any of them are really worth the mana investment. Maybe it should be lower on the list but the fact that it can go in pretty much any green deck saves it. But only just barely.
#7. Wizard Class
Drawing cards is what blue does, and that’s exactly what Wizard Class cares about. The first level allows you to have all of the cards you could ever want in your hand, which isn’t particularly great value even for one mana, but the second level is a divination once you’ve cast this so it’s definitely getting better.
But the last ability is what we’re here for. You also get to put a counter on a creature whenever you draw a card? Not only does that sound like it goes amazingly in a tempo deck, it also has some infinite combos.
Either Benthic Biomancer or Fathom Mage will draw a card when you put a counter on them and trigger this again. Of course you’ll need a way to stop the loop before decking yourself here, but all you need to do is have another creature to put a counter on. At that point you have a huge number of ways to win.
Any card which has a janky two card combo has my interest.
#6. Barbarian Class
Talking about combo pieces, this red enchantment is a particularly fun one. Clearly meant for a dice rolling deck, Barbarian Class may be less versatile than Wizard Class and Warlock Class, but what it gives up in flexibility it more than makes up for in sheer fun! While you may be forgiven for thinking that this is just something that helps dice-matters decks along at first glance, it’s actually a powerful combo piece before you even level it up at all.
Delina, Wild Mage has the chance to go almost infinite with this. Well, to be honest, it has the chance to do that by itself, but this card makes it much more likely. You can target another creature to create a copy when Delina attacks. You roll a d20 when you do. If that dice is 15 or more, you get to try again.
With Barbarian Class out you have two chances of this. While it’s not as effective as copying Pixie Guide, it’s a useful piece nonetheless. And it helps with the shenanigans even more once it’s levelled up.
#5. Cleric Class
You’ll likely have come up against lifegain decks if you’ve played any Constructed games on Arena. Love them or hate them, they’re popular and often effective. Cleric Class fits fantastically into decks built around this kind of effect, whether it’s mono white with Heliod, Sun-Crowned as your powerhouse or splashing another color like green with Trelasarra, Moon Dancer.
This Class’s first ability is actually pretty good for a single mana, increasing the amount of life you gain. And when you have lots of way to gain one life it basically doubles how much life you’re netting.
And the second ability is pretty sought after too. You can make anything into an Ajani's Pridemate, which is what these decks want. The final ability, while not game-breaking, is a good way to come back from a board wipe, which is where a lot of these decks are weakest.
All in all a pretty great all-round piece for any deck that likes to gain life.
#4. Artificer Class
The new kid on the block and the only class that didn’t come from the original AFR set, Artificer Class was printed in Battle for Baldur’s Gate. True to its name, this card cares about artifacts. This card still needs to be tested out to see the extent of its power but it certainly has some potential.
The first ability is definitely a bit tame, only allowing one spell per turn to be cheaper. There are plenty of cards out there that don’t have this restriction, but I can see some logic in including it here. The second ability is pretty interesting if you’re being particularly sneaky and only have a single artifact in your deck since you can guarantee you’ll get that card.
The final ability has some spice to it, too. Copying your most powerful artifact on your end step every turn is great in a deck that cares about it. Six mana may be a lot, but artifact decks often have ways to create a lot of it pretty easily. Not to mention that enchantments are generally fairly difficult to remove from the battlefield, so it’s going to be somewhat protected once you get it to level 3.
Of all of the cards on the list, this is the one that I’m the least sure about. It doesn’t have an obvious home at first but definitely has potential. Ask me again in a year and I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes the top spot.
#3. Bard Class
Remember how I was down on these very specific 2-color class cards? Well, I have a bit of a soft spot for Bard Class.
The combos with this card are pretty fun. Any legends that cost a single green, a single red, or are free once you get the second level activated. And you can “storm off” and keep casting legends that you exile from the top if you also activate the last level. Combining this with something like Birgi, God of Storytelling can keep your mana topped up to keep the party going.
And while I think I may be a bit biased on this card thanks to my love for a good combo, it’s definitely powerful and is in a different league compared to the rest of the cards in this cycle.
#2. Paladin Class
Paladin Class is a bit of an odd mix of abilities, but they all somehow work together. It’s pretty much exactly what a white weenie deck wants apart from creating a body. But the first ability helps protect what you’re doing, mimicking Thalia, Guardian of Thraben’s effect.
The second level is an anthem and, while not bad for three extra mana, it isn’t breaking the world in two. But the last ability has the potential to hit for a big amount, especially when you target a flier. You can win quite easily from commander damage too if you pair it with a Voltron commander.
#1. Ranger Class
So what makes Ranger Class the top card on this list? It may be influenced by the time this card absolutely dominated in Standard over the last year or so, but it definitely gets you some good value.
It’s a rare instance of feeling like every mode on this card is worth the mana in isolation. A 2-mana 2/2 Wolf may just be okay, but it can quickly get out of hand combined with the second ability. And the card advantage you can get in a creature-heavy deck if you manage to level it up all the way is incredible.
Can You Play the Same Class Twice?
Class cards aren’t legendary so there’s nothing stopping you from playing more than one of the same class card at a time.
Do Class Cards Stack?
The class card abilities generally do stack. For example, if you have two Druid Classes in play you'll gain two life whenever a land comes into play, not just one.
Monk Class | Illustration by Randy Vargas
Looking through the list it feels like there’s a class card for almost every occasion. They’re generally good mana sinks, even if the abilities attached to them don’t always match the costs involved.
Will we see more class cards in the future? More than likely since WotC likes to make cards fitting popular themes. We’ve still got the allied color pairs to make classes for. But what would they do? We’ll just have to wait and see.
What are your thoughts on classes? Which one is your favorite, both in D&D and in Magic? Let me know in the comments down below or join the discussion over in the Draftsim Discord.
Let us know your ideas for potential future class cards down below. And remember, stay classy!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: