Last updated on April 30, 2023
Shigeki, Jukai Visionary | Illustration by Anna Podedworna
Hello planeswalkers! In my understanding of Celtic mythology the druids were the “knowers of oak,” and the oak represented wisdom and the creation of man. Druids have been part of the Magic world too, and I’ve got you covered on the wisest ways to use them in your decks.
Druids might just be for you if you’re looking for some mana support, or to include green in your builds. What cards go well with druids, and what decks can be improved by adding some? Read on to find out!
What Are Druids in MTG?
Lisette, Dean of the Root | Illustration by Jesper Ejsing
The druid creature type in MTG is based on magic and nature. Druids often have the theme of growth, nature, and harmony. Druids can offer players mana ramping, counters to creatures, or turning your lands into deadly creatures.
The first druid creature was Citanul Druid printed in the Antiquities set in 1994. The big change for the druid archetype happened in Ninth Edition, when druids became known for mana production and land manipulation. They also started to gain activated (tap) abilities. Druids are heavily in the green color, but there are some worthy non-green examples.
Best White Druids
#5. Master of Ceremonies
This MC is here to part-ay! Master of Ceremonies has a good time in the eternal formats. Having the other players choose money, friends, or secrets is an entertaining way to see how they think.
I like the fun aspect of this card. Don’t take it too seriously and enjoy it!
#4. Mesa Enchantress
Mesa Enchantress is a small non-aggressive creature that helps gain the draw advantage in an enchantment deck. This can pair well with removal enchantments like Borrowed Time, or quickly get out of hand with the runes like Rune of Sustenance.
#3. Celebrity Fencer
Celebrity Fencer is a great druid for Limited (and maybe some Constructed) decks that like to go wide. The four mana value and chunky curve play make it less valuable in Constructed, but I’ve won a few Limited tournaments with a few copies of the Fencer at my disposal.
#2. Sunseed Nurturer
Like so many of the druids, Sunseed Nurturer can tap for some much-needed mana. The value of this card is in its static lifegain if you control a creature with power five or greater.
Static lifegain is essential to some decks, and it can work well with cards like Archangel of Thune or Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose.
#1. Bennie Bracks, Zoologist
For the eternal token-creating decks, take a look at Bennie Bracks, Zoologist. Bennie is a great way to gain the draw advantage for token-creating decks. You also don’t have to worry too much about the four mana value because Bennie Bracks has convoke.
Use those tokens to get this out there quickly and then start to draw more and more cards.
Best Black Druids
#4. Quagmire Druid
Are you sick of enchantments in eternal formats? Are you playing Golgari () colors and have a lot of little sac-ready creatures? Quagmire Druid is the card for you.
This druid is a nice answer to the enchantments players use, but it has little value in any other kind of match.
#3. Gnarlroot Trapper
Elves and druids just seem to go together in Magic. Gnarlroot Trapper is a great way to get the green mana you need to play your elves, and you can make them deadly by giving the target elf deathtouch.
This is a solid addition to Golgari elf tribal decks in Pioneer, Modern, and eternal formats.
#2. Vesper Ghoul
Vesper Ghoul is a nice mana ramp for black color users in Modern, eternal, and Pauper formats. Getting any color mana you need can ensure the likeliness of playing the exact cards you need when you need them.
The one life cost may also be to your benefit with cards like Vilis, Broker of Blood or Paladin of Atonement.
#1. Valentin, Dean of the Vein / Lisette, Dean of the Root
Valentin, Dean of the Vein is a dual-sided card that can benefit massively from having a copy of each side on the battlefield at once. It’s a great 1-drop that’s hard to block in the early game, gains you life, and exiles opponents’ dying creatures.
Lisette, Dean of the Root is the finisher that gives all your creatures counters whenever you gain life. This is a solid card for non-mono white lifegain decks and is legal in a lot of formats.
Best Red Druids
#2. Sprouting Goblin
Sprouting Goblin is a fantastic card if you’re playing in a Limited format for Dominaria United. You have a chance to get the basic land you need if you pay the cheap kicker, and the activated draw ability is a great way to gain an advantage if you become mana flooded.
This goblin may be valuable in Constructed formats if you can pair it with some cards that return lands from the graveyard, like Titania, Protector of Argoth or Crucible of Worlds.
#1. Exuberant Firestoker
I like all these druids that give you a benefit from owning a creature with power 5 or greater. Exuberant Firestoker gives you the benefit of dealing two damage every turn that it’s on the battlefield and you control a creature with power 5 or greater.
It’s a very nice combo to have an activated mana ability and a static damage ability from the same card.
Best Green Druids
#24. Norwood Priestess
It may be slow forming, but the ability of Norwood Priestess can have massive payoffs. The ability to tap and put a huge green creature card from your hand onto the battlefield should never be overlooked.
The value here is apparent, but it’s a small creature. It’s only available in eternal formats and its chances of working perfectly aren’t high. This druid can still be a fun card nonetheless and is worth consideration.
#23. Rootpath Purifier
Rootpath Purifier turns all lands on the battlefield and in your library into basic lands. This may be interesting for fetch lands and your specialty lands. If you can fetch triomes, Kessig Wolf Run, or Faceless Haven that would be amazing!
#22. Elvish Branchbender
I love the ability to play creature lands or turn my basic lands into creatures. Elvish Branchbender can help you create massive land creatures depending on the number of elves you control.
It’s legal in Modern, eternal, and Pauper formats, but I believe it has the most value in Pauper.
#21. Noble Hierarch
Some of the most useful druids can give some activated mana and have a useful static ability. Noble Hierarch is a great mana fixer for those playing in the Bant () color theme.
This card can give a boost to any of your creatures that attack alone with the exalted ability. It fits perfectly in a Commander deck featuring Chulane, Teller of Tales.
#20. Kamahl, Heart of Krosa
Here’s a nice druid commander. You need to ramp up some mana production to get Kamahl, Heart of Krosa on the battlefield in a reasonable time, but luckily a lot of the druids can help you with that.
Once you get Kamahl on the field you can turn your lands into creatures and then pump all your creatures with the static ability. The partner ability allows you to take advantage of other commanders like Anara, Wolvid Familiar or Gilanra, Caller of Wirewood.
#19. Slippery Bogbonder
Slippery Bogbonder is an eternal format flash creature that can lure your opponent into a deadly trap. The scenario looks like this: whenever your opponent uses a removal spell on one of your essential creatures you can play this if you have the mana. You can then protect your creature, move all your other counters onto that creature, and deal a lethal blow next turn.
I like Slippery Bogbonder a lot and believe it’s a great green druid for your eternal decks.
What can I say about Drumhunter that I didn’t say about Sunseed Nurturer and Exuberant Firestoker? It may tap for a mana ramp and has a static ability to draw a card if you control a creature with power 5 or greater.
This might be even a little better than the other mentioned druids because it can fit into a lot of green decks.
#17. Dragonsguard Elite
I’ve always liked the prowess mechanic, but Dragonsguard Elite takes that to another level. Instead of a single-turn pump, this magecraft ability gives a counter. You can start to grow it with cheap instants, and you have a chance to double the number of counters for six mana if the game lasts longer.
Dragonsguard Elite is a solid small creature that can seriously grow in most non-Standard formats.
#16. Earthshaker Giant
Here we go! Earthshaker Giant is the big druid pump creature you need to maximize all your smaller and land creatures. The pump it gives to all your creatures can be a game-ender.
The most unfortunate part is that this druid is only legal in eternal formats.
#15. Weaver of Harmony
Boy, do I have some feelings about Weaver of Harmony. The main format I play is Standard, and you need to include it if you want to take your Selesnya () Standard enchantment deck to the next level.
It’s a great pump for your enchantment creatures, and it can turn your already good enchantment removal like Borrowed Time into a nightmare for your opponent.
#14. Bloom Tender
You use a lot of of these druids to fix your mana problems and ramp up your midrange decks. Bloom Tender is a great mana-producing druid for multicolored decks. It may produce a mana for each color of permanents you control.
Tapping for multiple mana is the kind of upside that make druids so viable in many decks and gets them on this list.
#13. Paradise Druid
Druids are great at tapping for mana, and that’s an amazing ability to realize your final goals of a deck. Paradise Druid is a fantastic ramp creature that may also have some late-game attack value. In the early game you can get any mana you need, and it’s protected until you tap for the mana.
I’ve also seen several times when this druid is given vigilance and other buffs to become a nasty creature. It’s a great addition to any green deck in most non-Standard formats overall.
#12. Llanowar Loamspeaker
Llanowar Loamspeaker is an embodiment of what makes druids so fun and practical. You can get the mana ramp you need to get your board established before your opponent or tap to turn a land into a decent size creature.
This druid helps you to pressure your opponent in multiple ways, and it’s legal in all formats except Pauper and Penny.
#11. Elvish Archdruid
Sick of elf tribal and mana-producing druid takes yet? Too bad, because Elvish Archdruid is another card you have to consider when building decks with even a few elves. It gives all your elves a boost and you can produce a massive amount of mana depending on how many elf creatures you control.
This druid must be considered for elf tribal decks in Modern, Historic, and eternal formats.
#10. Augur of Autumn
Cards that allow you to play extra cards that aren’t in your hand can be immensely valuable. Augur of Autumn allows you to play lands from the top of your deck. You can even play creatures from the top of your deck if you satisfy the coven requirements.
This is a great accelerator and fits well in human tribal and Selesnya decks.
#9. 1-Drop Mana Dorks
Arbor Elf, Elvish Mystic, Llanowar Elves, and Fyndhorn Elves are all 1-drop mana-producing creatures. They fit into so many green, elf tribal, and midrange decks.
I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these to ramp up your play.
#8. Gilt-Leaf Archdruid
Enough with the elf tribal decks, let’s look at a druid tribal creature. Gilt-Leaf Archdruid is essential if you want to build a druid tribal deck. It allows you to draw for every druid you play and has a bomb ability if you can get seven druids onto the battlefield.
Load up on your druids or play a card like Realmwalker to get the ability to take all your opponent’s lands!
#7. Gala Greeters
Gala Greeters is a must in Standard if you have any amount of green in your deck. It gives you so many different options whenever a creature enters your side of the battlefield.
I believe the first option should be the Treasure, but if you pair it with some token-creating decks you’ll be using all three options every turn.
#6. Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea
Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea is a fantastic mana-producing creature for the midrange and big green creature decks. The interactions with this card are fantastic.
You can tap for two mana, and you may untap it for some more mana with a creature with power 5 or greater on board. This can allow you to start pressuring your opponent with midrange cards like Battle Mammoth or Elder Gargaroth.
#5. Incubation Druid
Incubation Druid is another great example of a mana-producing druid. A 2-mana creature that can tap for multiple colors is great, but if you can add a counter to it and then produce three mana from each tap.
Counters are easy for a lot of decks, and this can ramp your green midrange quickly. It’s also great because it also fits into non-tribal green decks.
#4. Circle of Dreams Druid
Circle of Dreams Druid is a massive mana-producing druid. You get a creature that can produce as much mana as you have creatures for three green mana.
This is how you can get to massive green creatures like Apex Devastator or End-Raze Forerunners.
#3. Marwyn, the Nurturer
Marwyn, the Nurturer is a great example of a tribal card that can have a lot of different interactions depending on what you need. It’s pumped every time an elf enters, and you can turn Marwyn’s power into a ton of mana.
These interactions are the kind that makes for a perfect tribal creature card. It’s an absolute staple for elf tribal decks in most non-Standard formats.
#2. Leaf-Crowned Visionary
Leaf-Crowned Visionary is a fantastic 2-drop elf tribal creature card. It gives a pump to all your elves and the ability to draw cards. It can also give huge board and hand advantage with other elf tribal creatures like Marwyn, the Nurturer and Elvish Warmaster.
#1. Shigeki, Jukai Visionary
The number of interactions a creature can create can determine how valuable it is. Shigeki, Jukai Visionary is one of these creatures that fit into the long-game thinking player’s deck. It’s a blocker that can be returned to the safety of your hand while getting you lands on the battlefield.
In the later game it can return your most important spells from the graveyard to maximize their payoffs. I’ve personally had to deal with Farewell three times because of two Shigekis.
Best Multicolored Druids
#11. Nikya of the Old Ways
Get those creatures ready! Nikya of the Old Ways doubles all the production of your lands. The unfortunate downside is you can’t play noncreature spells, but I believe with some deck planning that is fine.
This is a decent Gruul () druid with some specified deckbuilding around it.
#10. Coiling Oracle
Coiling Oracle is a relatively uninspiring druid, but it creates a decent synergy with the themes of druid and green decks. You either get a land advantage or draw a card when it enters.
This is a solid development for your board strategy for two mana. It could be even better with bounce effects.
#9. Willowdusk, Essence Seer
Willowdusk, Essence Seer is a nice eternal response kind of creature. You can tap to give a creature +1/+1 counters equal to the amount of life you gained or lost on that turn. This activated ability is nice to pair with lifegain cards on your turn, and against aggressive opponents that attack you on their turn.
I love the interesting interactions that can happen with all the life changing abilities in the Golgari-themed decks.
#8. Knotvine Mystic
Knotvine Mystic is a Naya () mana savior! You can tap and pay one colorless mana to get the three colors you need for Naya decks.
Use this to ramp up to cards like Gishath, Sun's Avatar, Naya Charm, or Rith, Liberated Primeval.
#7. Tatyova, Benthic Druid
Tatyova, Benthic Druid fits well into the themes of land manipulation of the druids. You gain a life and draw a card every time you play a land. This can snowball quickly when you start playing cards that can bring in multiple lands per turn like Coiling Oracle or Shigeki, Jukai Visionary.
Tatyova is a slight curve problem, but it can give you huge returns for your land-themed deck with some mana-fixing.
#6. Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty
Cascade is a legit ability that can change almost any match. Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty can bring a cascade of advantages for you. You potentially get a 4-mana card for free then your massive spells also get cascade when you play this card.
This is a fantastic static ability that increases your big drops exponentially. Imoti is legal in only the eternal formats, and it’s a nice addition to massive Simic () decks.
#5. Jinnie Fay, Jetmir’s Second
Get your token-creators ready with Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second! For every token you create you get the option between getting a cat with haste to swing quickly or building a wall of 3/1 dogs with vigilance. You should soon enjoy your victory if your opponent doesn’t have the right removal and you have some cards like Gala Greeters or Wedding Announcement.
#4. Faeburrow Elder
Faeburrow Elder is a similar card to Bloom Tender. The added benefit is that this druid’s power and toughness are equal to the number of colors of permanents you control. It’s used as a great mana ramp that also has the possibility of being a decently sized-creature.
#3. Rashmi, Eternities Crafter
I’ve already said how I feel about the cascade ability. Now imagine if your first spell each turn can do the same thing.
Rashmi, Eternities Crafter is a great card that fits well into the Simic themes and builds. You can sneak creatures onto the battlefield when you remove or counter your opponent’s spells. This is amazing and I love that it can ignore timing rules of casting creatures because of its ability.
#2. Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy
Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy is a great commander or just regular addition to your builds. This card doubles the value of mana from tapping nonland permanents, and it can bring in your massive non-human creatures in the later game.
This is the kind of card that you build around by rostering cards like Noble Hierarch, Birds of Paradise, Void Winnower, and Impervious Greatwurm in your decks.
#1. Chulane, Teller of Tales
Chulane, Teller of Tales is the key druid commander that can lead a nasty Bant deck. Its static ability can help you roll into great situations: you draw a card and can play an extra land for every creature you play. The activated ability also gives you protection for one of your key creatures or allows you to get more payoffs from your ETB creatures.
Chulane is a fantastic commander and is legal in Pioneer, Explorer, Historic, and Modern.
Best Druid Payoffs
If you’re not tired of hearing it yet, druids are great mana producers. Play your big creatures like Avenger of Zendikar, Seedborn Muse, and Craterhoof Behemoth ahead of schedule to maximize the small druids that can tap for mana.
Apart from fixing your curve, druids can also fix mana color problems. Using some of the druids that can produce any color of mana helps you play the multicolored cards like Sisay, Weatherlight Captain, Maelstrom Wanderer, and Zacama, Primal Calamity.
A lot of the druids fit perfectly into elf tribal decks. Maximize the potency of your elf druids with other elves like Lathril, Blade of the Elves, Imperious Perfect, and Shaman of the Pack.
Boost your druid abilities with enchantments like Guardian Project or Doubling Season. Take advantage of the abilities of planeswalkers like Nissa, Worldwaker or Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.
To keep your druid synergies strong protect them with magic support like Heroic Intervention, Wrap in Vigor, and Vines of Vastwood.
Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second | Illustration by David Gaillet
This has been the wisdom of the oak for you. Druids can offer so much for many different styles of decks. They’re widely used because of their mana-producing abilities, and they can make any green deck stronger. Almost every new set seems to have a new druid or two.
Did you enjoy the rankings or learn something about druids? Which are your favorites to run in your decks? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.
Stay safe and continue to try new builds and creature types whenever you can!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: