Last updated on June 6, 2023

Triumph of Saint Katherine - Illustration by David Astruga

Triumph of Saint Katherine | Illustration by David Astruga

Have you ever won a match that you were absolutely sure was on its way to a loss? Miracles happen all the time in Magic, but these aren’t the only kind.

The miracle mechanic isn’t the most popular, but there’s some strategy and effectiveness to it. Can this commonly overlooked mechanic make a difference in your builds? Or are you interested in just trying something new?

I’m not and nor have I ever been an MTG judge, but I’ll use my love and knowledge of the game to best interpret the rules. Let’s get to it!

How Does Miracle Work?

Reforge the Soul - Illustration by Jaime Jones

Reforge the Soul | Illustration by Jaime Jones

The miracle mechanic provides an alternate cost for spells if it’s the first card drawn on a turn. It’s a static ability that turns into a triggered ability if it’s the first card drawn on any turn.

If a miracle card is the first card drawn, the player must reveal the card and pay the miracle cost immediately after the draw trigger resolves to play the spell for the alternate casting cost. The player doesn’t have to reveal a card with miracle if they don’t want to or can’t play the card.

The History of Miracle in MTG

Miracle was introduced in 2012’s Avacyn Restored. The set pits the angel Avacyn against demons terrorizing the plane of Innistrad. There’s a big theme of good vs. evil and holiness saving the day. The miracle mechanic fits into this story to get cards that may save you in the nick of time.

As far as the gameplay goes, miracle has had a rocky path. It became clunky in tournament play and ultimately never became an evergreen keyword.

The mechanic wasn’t printed on a lot cards. It was originally just going to be printed on sorceries and instants, but it most recently appeared in the Warhammer 40k Commander decks on three permanents, including Sister Repentia.

There are only 15 cards with the miracle keyword, and most are in the white color theme.

Does Miracle Get Around Timing Restrictions?

Yes, it does! If a card with miracle is the first card drawn on a turn, it may be played for its miracle casting cost. It doesn’t matter if it’s your opponent’s turn, a sorcery, or a permanent. Whenever you draw your first card each turn, you can cast it if it has miracle.

Can Miracle Be Cast at Instant Speed?

Yes, it can, if you’re casting it for the miracle cost because it was the first card drawn on this turn.

Do You Have to Reveal Miracle Cards?

You have to reveal a card with miracle if you’re choosing to cast it for its miracle casting cost. If you draw a card with miracle and don’t want to or can’t cast it at that time, you don’t have to reveal it.

Can You Miracle on an Opponent’s Turn?

Yes, you can. The mechanic states “…if it’s the first card you’ve drawn on this turn.” “This turn” means whichever turn it currently is, even your opponent’s turn.

If you play an instant or activate an ability that makes you draw on an opponent’s turn and that drawn card has miracle, you can immediately play that card after the trigger if you can afford it and it has legal targets.

What If You Don’t Use the Miracle Ability When You Draw the Card?

The miracle cost must be paid immediately after the trigger from the card being drawn if it’s going to be alternately cast. If you choose not to reveal or pay the alternate cost immediately, the card enters your hand and the miracle cost can’t be invoked to cast the card later. The card costs its normal mana value and acts like any other card at this point.

Can You Miracle After You Draw the Card?

You may use the miracle alternate cost once the drawing of the card causes the miracle mechanic to trigger. This trigger then goes on the stack and you have to decide if you want to reveal and pay for the miracle cost.

This adds to frustration with the cards because the stack action forces players to make decisions immediately. If you move on to the next phase after the drawing of the card, you can’t play the miracle alternate casting cost.

What if the Miracle Card Leaves Your Hand Before It Triggers?

If a card with miracle is revealed and then removed from that player’s hand, it can’t be cast for its miracle cost. The removal of the card before the miracle trigger resolves removes a legal target for the miracle casting cost.

Can You Cast Miracle Cards from Your Opening Hand?

No. Your opening hand is drawn before any turn, so you can’t alternate cast a miracle card from your opening hand since miracle refers to the first card you draw each turn.

Gallery and List of Miracle Cards

Best Miracle Cards

All these cards highlighted are part of “miracle” decks in mostly Legacy and Modern. These builds focus on having cantrips, countermagic, removal, and wincon spells.

Temporal Mastery

Temporal Mastery

Temporal Mastery has the miracle chance to give you an extra turn for two mana. The normal 7-mana cost isn’t impossible to get to in a control deck like this, but you should gain a massive advantage if you get the miracle cast.

Triumph of Saint Katherine

Triumph of Saint Katherine

I only saw Triumph of Saint Katherine in a few miracle decks, but it has some value. You can continue to cast a big lifelink creature for cheap since this card goes back close to the top of your deck upon death.

This card also works brilliantly with playing your cantrips on your opponent’s turn.

Entreat the Angels

Entreat the Angels

Entreat the Angels works as one of the wincons in a miracle deck. By controlling the game you can build your mana pool and then miracle cast a lot of 4/4 Angel tokens for a winning swing.

The miracle cast can create five Angel tokens instead of two for the normal cost with seven available mana. That’s immense value and can be played at instant speed if your cantrips are played well.



Terminus is the big miracle card I’ve seen in every miracle-style deck. It has a ton of removal value for miracle decks that don’t rely on creature cards to dominate. Use Terminus to potentially remove your opponent’s creatures for one mana, and at instant speed.

Devastation Tide + Vanishment + Banishing Stroke

I grouped these three cards because I’ve seen and believe they have value in a Commander miracle deck. The goal is the same: control the game, remove opponent’s creatures, and win late with tokens or planeswalkers.

You need extra help in the singleton Commander format. Devastation Tide, Vanishment, and Banishing Stroke can give you quick and fast value for removal.

Decklist: Miracles in Legacy

Terminus - Illustration by James Paick

Terminus | Illustration by James Paick


This miracles deck was created by Andrew Cuneo. It won at the Grand Prix Richmond 2018 Legacy competition. This deck thrives on creating a cheap curve with cantrips and removal spells, and controlling the game with counterspells and board wipes until you can execute your wincons.

The addition of Terminus helps cheapen some board wipe opportunities to ensure you keep control of the game. This deck is effective at removing creature threats, having a response for many situations and hopefully rendering some of your opponent’s cards useless with a lack of creatures.

Wrap Up

Devastation Tide - Illustration by Raymond Swanland

Devastation Tide | Illustration by Raymond Swanland

Miracle is a fun mechanic overall that may deserve a reboot. I understand that the implementation of the keyword in tournament play caused some headaches and chunky play, but it’s a cool mechanic that embodies how some of us feel about our next draw.

Sometimes you just need a miracle to win a game! I don’t believe we’ll see the miracle mechanic again, but I’d be happy if we saw some new form in upcoming sets.

Go see what miracle cards can do for you in Modern and eternal formats! Which are your favorite? Would you like it or something similar to come back in future sets? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.

Be kind to each other as competitors, but crush your enemy’s decks without mercy!

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