Last updated on July 22, 2023

It That Betrays - Illustration by Tomasz Jedruszek

It That Betrays | Illustration by Tomasz Jedruszek

Colorless spells in Magic have upsides and downsides. Due to their less restrictive cost, the more powerful cards have a higher total mana value than cards with colored mana pips. However, their less restrictive mana cost makes it a lot more likely that you’ll be able to cast them. Therefore, when evaluating how good a colorless creature is, it’s okay if the overall mana value is a little higher than usual because producing colorless or generic mana can be easier than producing colored mana.

Another thing to consider when looking at colorless creatures is what deck archetypes they might fit into. For example, many colorless creatures are also artifacts. This gives them an additional use as they can synergize well with artifact payoffs like Urza, Lord High Artificer or Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain. Another strong colorless archetype is Eldrazi creatures, which are typically high-cost but very powerful creature cards.

Let’s take a look at some of the most powerful creatures and what decks they work best in!

What Are Colorless Creatures in MTG?

Ornithopter - Illustration by Franz Vohwinkel

Ornithopter | Illustration by Franz Vohwinkel

A colorless creature in Magic is a creature that doesn’t have any colored pips in its mana cost. It’s important to note that just because a creature is colorless doesn’t mean it doesn’t also have a color identity. If a card with a colorless cost has one or more colored mana pips somewhere in its rules text, then those colors are part of its color identity. This means that while it’s a colorless creature, you can’t play it in a colorless Commander deck.

#35. Ornithopter


At first glance, Ornithopter might look like an underwhelming card, but it actually has some good uses. First, it’s a zero-cost artifact, also known as a cheerio. These can be powerful in artifact decks that have payoffs for artifacts entering the battlefield or just controlling artifacts, then you can get a lot of value out of this card which costs you nothing to play.

Ornithopter also has flying, which means if you’re able to buff it up with spells or equipment, its evasion can help you do some direct damage to opponents. While it likely won’t get powerful enough to make a huge dent in their life total, it can help pay off any attack or combat damage triggers you may have.

#34. Myr Retriever

Myr Retriever

Myr Retriever is a helpful tool for any artifact deck. Not only is it an artifact creature itself, but it can also get any of your important artifacts back from the graveyard. If you want something back right away, it’s also a great target for Skullclamp.

As a myr, Myr Retriever is also a good card to include in a myr tribal deck with a commander like Urtet, Remnant of Memnarch.

#33. Meteor Golem

Meteor Golem

Meteor Golem is a perfect example of a colorless creature that looks too expensive but isn’t too bad. Thanks to the prevalence of colorless mana rocks like Sol Ring or Thran Dynamo and cost reduction cards like Foundry Inspector, this card can often be played sooner than you think.

Not only can Meteor Golem remove most types of permanents, but there’s also a good number of ways to repeat its ETB effects. This card works well in decks with flicker effects or ways to bring artifacts back from the graveyard like Daretti, Scrap Savant.

#32. Bomat Courier

Bomat Courier

Bomat Courier is a helpful tool for red decks in need of more card draw. Thanks to it having haste, it’s a great first-turn play and you can start storing extra cards right away. Though you’ll have to discard your hand to get access to the cards exiled with Bomat Courier, that usually isn’t a huge issue in a red aggro deck. You’ll likely find yourself with very few or even no cards left in your hand, so it won’t be a big deal to discard those few cards in exchange for everything under Bomat Courier.

This card pairs well with other impulse draw support cards like Bag of Holding or Containment Construct. It may be smart to keep at least one red mana open while this card is on the field, otherwise you risk losing access to any of the cards exiled with it.

#31. Plague Myr

Plague Myr

Plague Myr is a decent colorless mana rock, but it’s even more powerful thanks to its infect ability. If you’re playing an infect deck and want some ramp, this is a good choice. It also works well in myr decks that need an extra threat. While it isn’t too powerful on its own, with tribal support like Coat of Arms, this card could become a pretty big threat in a myr tribal deck.

#30. Armory Automaton

Armory Automaton

Although not an every-deck card, Armory Automaton can be very powerful in the right decks. The equip cost can often be a major drawback for equipment cards. Cards that allow you to avoid that can increase the power of cards like Colossus Hammer or Kaldra Compleat.

While there are likely better targets for your equipment spells, you can always switch them over once you can afford to do so. Armory Automaton is also a great follow-up to a board wipe or removal spell that took out your equipped creatures. It stops you from getting too far behind by allowing you to quickly re-equip your powerful artifacts.

#29. Palladium Myr

Palladium Myr

Palladium Myr is a solid colorless mana dork. It can be a good addition to a Tron deck that’s looking to quickly play a large colorless spell. It can also work well in artifact decks, especially ones that run cost reduction. If you have activation cost reduction like Heartstone, then Palladium Myr can go infinite with Voltaic Construct.

#28. Burnished Hart

Burnished Hart

Burnished Hart is a great option for ramp in decks that don’t have access to green mana. This card also works well in multi-color or five-color decks as you can get access to two colors of mana with no casting restrictions. The only real downside is that Burnished Hart is somewhat expensive to cast and activate. That being said, it works well in slower formats like Commander.

#27. Ornithopter of Paradise

Ornithopter of Paradise

Ornithopter of Paradise is similar to Birds of Paradise, but thanks to being colorless, it can go in any deck. This makes it great ramp and mana fixing for multicolor decks that don’t include green mana. Even if you’re running green, if you’re playing Commander and can only have one copy of each card, then Ornithopter of Paradise is a good inclusion alongside Birds of Paradise.

#26. Solemn Simulacrum

Solemn Simulacrum

A lot of Commander players like to use Solemn Simulacrum as a form of ramp or mana fixing in their multicolor decks. It doubles as a form of card draw so it works well in color combinations that struggle with both ramping and drawing. While it’s pretty good in most decks, it gets even better when there’s a way to flicker it or get it back from the graveyard to the battlefield. It would fit well in an Osgir, the Reconstructor deck.

#25. Steel Overseer

Steel Overseer

Steel Overseer is a great early play in an artifact creature deck. You can start buffing your creatures up early before your opponents have a chance to remove this card, which they inevitably will after a little bit. It goes well with +1/+1 counter support like The Ozolith and payoffs like Simic Ascendancy.

#24. Steel Hellkite

Steel Hellkite

Steel Hellkite is a great double threat. Not only is it a threatening creature, but it can also serve as a great form of removal. Because its removal doesn’t target anything, it’s a great way to destroy permanents with hexproof or shroud. Its firebreathing ability can also allow you to do extra damage, and unlike most, it costs colorless mana instead of red mana, meaning this card can go in any deck.

#23. Silent Arbiter

Silent Arbiter

Silent Arbiter is great for control or pillow fort decks. It will slow down the game, giving you a chance to get to your higher-cost threats. This works well if you’re looking to only attack with one very large creature, as you’ll never suffer from its effect. It’s also a good tool for combo decks that want to take less damage while trying to find a game-winning combo.

#22. Myr Battlesphere

Myr Battlesphere

Myr Battlesphere is powerful because it’s both a threatening attacker and a good way to do direct damage. It works well in myr decks since you’ll have a lot of creatures to tap along with the four tokens it creates. However, it also fits well in changeling decks because you’ll be able to tap any of your creatures as part of its triggered ability. Token decks running token doublers can also have a spot for Myr Battlesphere, as it can make eight or maybe even more tokens when it enters.

#21. Kuldotha Forgemaster

Kuldotha Forgemaster

Kuldotha Forgemaster is a great way to cheat out your bombs in an artifact deck. This card also works well in a deck that produces a lot of artifact tokens like Treasure or Clue tokens. Good targets to fetch with this card could be Darksteel Forge or Mycosynth Lattice in an artifact deck, or large artifact creatures like Blightsteel Colossus.

#20. Academy Manufactor

Academy Manufactor

Treasure tokens can be a powerful way to get extra mana, and Academy Manufactor can add even more value to each Treasure you create. While Food isn’t the best type of token, Clue tokens can be pretty helpful when you need some extra cards. These tokens can also work well by fueling cards like Kuldotha Forgemaster or Time Sieve.

#19. Psychosis Crawler

Psychosis Crawler

Psychosis Crawler doesn’t always justify its own mana cost, but in decks that are looking to draw a lot of cards, it can be very powerful. It also synergizes well with commanders like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse or Nekusar, the Mindrazer, as you’ll be punishing players when they draw and when you draw. This increases the power of cards like Howling Mine in these decks.

#18. Adaptive Automaton

Adaptive Automaton

Adaptive Automaton is a very flexible card, making it a great choice for a lot of different decks. It honestly fits well in any type of tribal deck, and its anthem ability can be very powerful. It’s additionally better in tribal decks that also use a lot of artifact creatures as it will meet both requirements.

#17. Wandering Archaic / Explore the Vastlands

Both sides of Wandering Archaic can be helpful, but it’s definitely more powerful on its creature side. Its ability is pretty punishing, forcing your opponents to either pay a good amount of extra mana or let you cast any spell they want to as well. It also has four toughness, making it harder to remove with cheap direct damage spells like Lightning Bolt.

#16. Metalwork Colossus

Metalwork Colossus

Metalwork Colossus might have a high cost, but it can likely be cast for a lot less or even free if you’re running enough artifacts. While it doesn’t have any way to protect itself from removal, it can be pretty easily brought back from your graveyard, especially if your deck produces a lot of artifact tokens.

#15. Jhoira’s Familiar

Jhoira's Familiar

Jhoira's Familiar is a good bit of cost reduction for both artifact and legends-matter decks. It’s also a big flavor win, since it fits really well in a Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain deck which also cares about historic cards.

#14. Platinum Angel

Platinum Angel

Platinum Angel can be a good way to prolong a game that you might otherwise lose. It can also work well with Thassa's Oracle because it’ll let you draw your whole deck without losing, then you can drop the Oracle for the win. You shouldn’t rely too heavily on this card, however, because it’s very easy to remove, being an artifact creature that also has flying.

#13. Foundry Inspector

Foundry Inspector

Cheap cost reduction spells like Foundry Inspector are great early-turn plays. This card can help speed up your game and keep you ahead early on. It also makes one-mana artifacts free, and when cloned or stacked with other cost reductions, you can start casting a decent amount of spells for free. Cards like this can also help enable infinite combos with cards like Sensei's Divining Top and Mystic Forge.

#12. Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim is such a powerful card, it needed to be banned in Commander. Its ETB effect allows you to go get any land, so if you search up The World Tree it can help you with mana fixing to activate Golos’ ability.

Using Golos, Tireless Pilgrim’s activated ability can be a great way to get ahead or even win a game by playing several bombs for free in one turn. Golos works really well with cards like Brainstorm, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, or Sylvan Library, which can help you ensure you don’t whiff with Golos’ ability.

#11. Artisan of Kozilek

Artisan of Kozilek

Artisan of Kozilek may be expensive, but it justifies its cost by allowing you to get another creature out of your graveyard. Since this is a cast trigger, even if this card gets countered, you’ll still be able to get at least something out of it. This is a good creature for a reanimation or self-mill deck that’ll be filling your graveyard with resources to target with it.

#10. Metalworker


Metalworker can be a great source of ramp in an artifact deck. If you aren’t running enough artifacts to ensure you’ll always have at least one in your hand, I don’t think it’s worth running. That being said, if you have a lot of artifacts in your deck, this is one of the best mana dorks you can include. It can also generate infinite mana with many different cards depending on the number of artifacts in your hand.

#9. Wurmcoil Engine

Wurmcoil Engine

What makes Wurmcoil Engine such a powerful card is its ability to replace itself if it’s destroyed. One of the biggest impacts removal has on your game is that it makes you essentially waste your resources. However, because this card replaces itself with two tokens that add up to the original creature, you’re really not losing anything. If your opponent wants to take out the tokens, they’ll need to waste more removal, meaning you’ll likely come out on top in terms of the number of resources spent on the card.

#8. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre is one of six cards that depict the Eldrazi titans, powerful otherworldly monsters known for attacking the plane of Zendikar. This version of Ulamog isn’t as powerful as its other incarnation, but it still packs a punch. Annihilator 4 will begin eating away at your opponent’s board state, and thanks to Ulamog’s indestructibility, you can swing without worrying about it dying. As a bonus, you also get to blow up one permanent for free when you cast this card.

#7. Ramos, Dragon Engine

Ramos, Dragon Engine

Ramos, Dragon Engine has one of the best qualities of a five-color commander: a less restrictive casting cost. In Ramos’s case, its casting cost is colorless, meaning if you don’t have all your colors, you can still cast your commander. After it’s on the field, Ramos will be able to provide you with a lot of mana in every color relatively quickly. This will make it easy to cast any of your spells and simultaneously start charging Ramos back up for another mana dump on a future turn.

#6. Kozilek, Butcher of Truth

Kozilek, Butcher of Truth

This version of Kozilek is incredibly powerful, even at a mana value of 10. Kozilek, Butcher of Truth’s cast trigger draws you plenty of cards, meaning even if this spell is countered, you’re getting some value out of it. Also, if it’s countered, destroyed, discarded, or milled, you’ll be able to put it right back into your library and possibly get it again. On the field this card is a huge threat, making your opponent sacrifice four permanents with each attack and dealing out a ton of damage.

#5. Walking Ballista

Walking Ballista

Though Walking Ballista is most frequently run as a win con, it’s a fairly versatile card. Its ability to do direct damage makes it helpful for removing creatures or planeswalkers or also threatening to eliminate players. What makes it so powerful is that there’s no cost for its damage ability besides removing a counter. This card is one of the most popular payoffs for an infinite mana combo. Whether in your hand or already on the field, you can just pump it up until it has enough counters to remove and kill your opponents at instant speed. Because it’s at instant speed and the damage is dealt by individual activations, it’s very difficult for your opponents to meaningfully respond to this ability and stop you from winning.

#4. Blightsteel Colossus

Blightsteel Colossus

Blightsteel Colossus is one of the rare cards that can just end a game with a single attack. On top of that, it has indestructible, so even if there are blockers, you can kill or weaken many of them while keeping this card alive. Your opponents can’t get rid of this card by milling it or making you discard it, so as long as it isn’t exiled, this card is sticking around.

#3. It That Betrays

It That Betrays

It That Betrays on its own is already powerful. It’s a massive creature that’ll also force players to sacrifice some of their own permanents. When they do, you’ll get control of those permanents thanks to its triggered ability. However, when considering how It That Betrays interacts with other players’ decks, it becomes even stronger.

While you can obviously force your opponents to sacrifice their permanents with cards like Invoke Despair or All Is Dust, they’ll also often do it on their own. Players who are running sacrifice or aristocrats decks will have to completely rethink their strategy when they realize you’ll be gaining control over most of the cards they sacrifice.

#2. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger gives you so much value for its casting cost that it’s easily one of the most powerful creatures in Magic. First, you get to exile two permanents when you cast it, helping you clear any big threats from the board or cards like Laboratory Maniac that could actually make Ulamog’s attack trigger beneficial to its owner. Then, you’re getting a 10/10 indestructible creature, which alone is worth probably close to ten mana. On top of that, you can mill a ton of cards from your opponents, which will often rob them of important resources.

#1. Emrakul, the Promised End

Emrakul, the Promised End

Emrakul, the Promised End may look too hard to cast, but it isn’t by a long shot. There are currently eight different types of cards you might have in your graveyard, soon to be nine when battle is added in March of the Machine. That means you can cast Emrakul for as little as five mana, giving you a massive flier that’s difficult to remove. On top of that, you get to sabotage one of your opponents’ games by taking control of their turn.

Best Colorless Creature Payoffs and Synergies

Colorless cards in general synergize well with cards that wipe the board of colored permanents like Ugin, the Spirit Dragon or All Is Dust. If you cast one of these spells, you’ll get to keep all of your colorless permanents while your opponents potentially lose everything.

For any colorless creatures I’ve listed that make artifacts or historic spells cost one less, the best payoff is a combo involving Sensei's Divining Top and Mystic Forge. Using the Top’s draw ability, you can get a card and then put it back on top of your library. Thanks to Mystic Forge, you can then immediately recast Sensei's Divining Top and repeat the process. If the Top’s cost is reduced to 0, you can do this as many times as you want, allowing you to draw until you find what you’re looking for or deck yourself and win with Thassa's Oracle or a similar card.

Wrap Up

Ornithopter of Paradise - Illustration by Raoul Vitale

Ornithopter of Paradise | Illustration by Raoul Vitale

Although many colorless creatures have high mana values, they are also some of the more powerful creatures in Magic. Also, without the restriction of specific colors, they can sometimes be easier to cast than cheaper creatures with more restrictive costs. You’ll likely recognize several of these creatures as popular win cons, and it’s easy to see why.

Do you use any of these creatures as a win condition? What colorless creature is your favorite? If I missed your favorite colorless creature, make sure to let me know which one and why you think it should have been on the list in the comments below or on Draftsim’s Twitter.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing you in the next one!

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