Last updated on March 22, 2024

Ring of Three Wishes - Illustration by Mark Winters

Ring of Three Wishes | Illustration by Mark Winters

Did you ever lose a game because you couldn’t draw that one card that could’ve changed everything? Actually, forget that one card, have you ever failed to draw those three sets of cards that are crucial to execute your deck's gampelan, even though you put four copies in your deck? Well, unless you have the favor of Lady Luck, this happens a lot. You mulligan, end up with a bad start, and eventually lose the game. But fear not! Magic actually has a lot of decent remedies for that.

Today I’m going to talk about how you can search for and draw the cards that are essential to your game so that you have more control over your deck. This is called “tutoring,” which takes its name from the famous Demonic Tutor released back in 1993. Most tutors have limitations on what you can look for, and some of them just let you pick a card regardless of its type.

But that’s enough talk. Let’s get right into it!

How Do Tutors Work?

Eye of Ugin - Illustration by James Paick

Eye of Ugin | Illustration by James Paick

Well, tutors work in a pretty straightforward way. They let you look for a card in your deck and then place it in your hand or on top of your deck. You’d think that blue would have the most tutor cards based on its usual theme, but black actually has the biggest variety of tutors. If the card you used lets you look for a specific card type, you need to reveal the card you picked to your opponent, then you shuffle  your deck and keep playing the game. Simple enough.

With the explanation out of the way, you’re probably here to find out which tutors are the the game. So, let’s get on with it!

#20. Sylvan Scrying

Sylvan Scrying

Sylvan Scrying kicks off our list as a very strong land tutor. It's cheap at two mana cost, and can find any land you need. It was primarily used in Tron decks in Modern to find some key lands. In Commander, the card has loads of potential with a wider variety of cards to find.

#19. Expedition Map

Expedition Map

Expedition Map is a common land tutor in EDH. There's no restriction, so searches for any land, so it’s especially good in multicolored decks. Or even a colorless deck if you're searching up, say, Urza's Tower.

#18. Weathered Wayfarer

Weathered Wayfarer

Weathered Wayfarer is a 1-mana, 1/1 creature that shines when you don’t start the game. You can avoid getting land-locked, plus it just says “land card,” so you’re not restricted to basic lands.

#17. Ring of Three Wishes

Ring of Three Wishes

Ring of Three Wishes comes with three wish counters, and you can tap it for five mana to tutor any card you want. It costs a whopping ten mana to tutor your first card, but since it is any card, it’s pretty useful to get that critical piece you need.

#16. Planar Bridge

Planar Bridge

Planar Bridge is an absolutely brilliant card. It needs a lot of mana, but then you can put any permanent card you need directly onto the battlefield. But it doesn’t even end there! You can use it again and again if you can pay its steep eight mana cost. Keep in mind that it’s susceptible to removal, though.

#15. Entomb

Entomb

Since black decks usually like tampering with the graveyard, Entomb is a great choice. You can instantly use the card you searched for from the graveyard. The only downside is that you need to build your deck around graveyard mechanics to maximize its potential.

#14. Grim Tutor

Grim Tutor

Grim Tutor is a combination of Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor. It’s pretty useful if you don’t have the other two at your disposal since you can, once again, pick any card you want for three mana and three life.

#13. Idyllic Tutor

Idyllic Tutor

Idyllic Tutor is a sorcery that lets you look for an enchantment for just three mana and put it directly into your hand. Keep in mind that it can also look for enchantment creatures, so it’s pretty strong in the recent meta.

#12. Enlightened Tutor

Enlightened Tutor

This is one of the strongest tutors out there. Enlightened Tutor costs only one mana, is an instant, and allows you to search for either an artifact or enchantment. The only downside is that you put the card on top of your deck, but you can play it very early and gain an advantage.

#11. Gamble

Gamble

Arguably the best option for red, Gamble lets you search for a card of your choice. Then you need to literally gamble by discarding a card at random. It’s best you use it when you have three or four cards in your hand because you probably don’t want to discard the very thing you searched for.

#10. Land Tax

Land Tax

Green might be famous for its land tutors, but among white tutors, there is a great challenger. Land Tax works wonders if your opponent has more lands than you and makes sure you’re never behind on the mana curve.

#9. Eladamri’s Call

Eladamri's Call

Eladamri's Call is a very cost-efficient tutor. You get to tutor any creature card with just two mana.

#8. Tempt with Discovery

Tempt with Discovery

Another green tutor, Tempt with Discovery is a great option if you’re playing with more than one opponent. It allows you to tutor an initial land card (non-basics included) to put onto the battlefield and you can put an additional one for every opponent who wants to do the same. Of course, it’s very cost-efficient even in 1v1, as your opponent will most probably be tempted.

#7. Imperial Recruiter / Recruiter of the Guard

Imperial Recruiter Recruiter of the Guard

Imperial Recruiter is a great tutor for red decks in EDH. It costs three mana to look for a creature card with power 2 or less, regardless of its cost. It’s very vulnerable against single target removals since it’s a 1/1 creature, but it’s still a nice value for tutoring. Recruiter of the Guard is the same, but for toughness and it can find some very strong creatures.

#6. Bribery

Bribery

All the tutors we mentioned up to this point let you search for a card from your deck, but Bribery does the opposite: it searches your opponent’s deck. Not everyone plays it, but you should consider keeping it on your sideboard because it’s particularly powerful if you know your opponent has behemoths. It’s an unorthodox choice, but I’m the one ranting about tutors, so there it is.

#5. Tinker

Tinker

Ah yes, Tinker, one of the most broken tutors ever. Turning your mana rock into a Blightsteel Colossus or Sundering Titan is completely game-breaking. It's no wonder this is one of the sweetest build-arounds in Cube!

#4. Green Sun's Zenith

Green Sun's Zenith

Green Sun's Zenith doesn’t just let you tutor a creature, but you can actually put it on the battlefield right away. Of course, the mana cost depends on which creature you want to search for, but you’re playing green. You’ll have the mana.

#3. Vampiric Tutor

Vampiric Tutor

Vampiric Tutor is one of the strongest tutors out there. At instant speed, for one mana and two life, you can find any card you want and put it on top of your library. This has some benefits. It protects the card from any discard your opponent may have, and works well with powerful Miracle cards like the extra turn spell,Temporal Mastery. If you're playing Black, this is a must have card.

#2. Stoneforge Mystic

Stoneforge Mystic

Another creature card with tutoring, Stoneforge Mystic allows you to search for an equipment card when it enters the battlefield. But its true power doesn’t only lie in its tutoring ability: you can actually put your equipment into play without paying its casting cost, which may help a lot with more expensive equipment. No wonder this card was banned!

#1. Demonic Tutor

Demonic Tutor

Demonic Tutor is widely considered to be the best tutor in MTG. It costs just two mana to search your library for any card you want and put it into your hand without any life-loss or other disadvantages. It was recently reprinted as a Mystical Archive in Strixhaven: School of Mages so the card is far more accessible now than ever before!

Best Budget Tutors

We talked about the best tutors in MTG, so let’s wrap this up with budget tutors. We all know MTG can be quite expensive sometimes and constructing that perfect deck can feel like burning your wallet. Here are some tutors you can find at a low price:

This list only includes the best ones, but there are plenty of other tutors. If you haven’t noticed yet, I didn’t even include most cards with the transmute keyword, which lets you pay the transmute cost of a card and search your library for a card with the same mana value after discarding it. If I wanted to include transmute as well, this would be a much, much longer bit.

And the #1 Tutor Overall: Arena Tutor

screenshot of arena tutor by draftsim

Draftsim's MTGA tracker Arena Tutor helps you level up your game using AI

Haha, very funny right? But hear me out. Arena Tutor is Draftsim's MTG Arena application that will track your decks, give you in-game stats, give you AI draft recommendations, help you draw sample hands with decks, etc, etc.

Tell me that's not more fully-functioned than even my favorite Demonic Tutor!

OK maybe a stupid joke, but seriously check out the free app. It's going to change your life if you play MTGA.

Wrap Up

MTG has so many cards to choose from, so tutoring is a must if you’re going for some sweet combos. Of course, you can do without them if you have a pretty straightforward deck, but I definitely recommend having a couple of tutors if you’re going for combos. It’s much better than draw mechanics, but it’s also a bit more costly.

You need to have a solid mana base if you want to use tutoring. Some newer players make the mistake of tutoring too early without any board presence and losing the game with all their best cards waiting in their hand. The perfect combo in your hand doesn’t mean anything if you can’t put it into play.

Well, I think this covers quite a lot about tutors, so try them for your next game and see if it works for you. As usual, feel free to let me know if I missed anything in the comments down there, or head over to our discord if that’s more your style. If you want to support us in making more awesome content, consider checking out our Patreon.

Stay healthy, and stay safe!

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3 Comments

  • Avatar
    John Kittredge February 23, 2022 3:43 am

    Interesting list, but there are 3 tutors not on this list that are not on the list. They are my favorites for mill decks and for graveyard recural or cycling.

    Neoform: [1 blue + 1 green] sac creature (great for sac triggers), search library for creature 1 cost higher than sac’ed creature, put on battlefield with a +1/+1.

    Mythos of Brokkos: [2 + 2 green] If 1 blue and 1 black was spent, search library for any card and put it in graveyard. Return 2 permanents to hand.

    Jarad’s Orders: [2 + 1 black and 1 green] search library for 2 creatures, reveal, put 1 in hand and 1 in graveyard.

    • Avatar
      Shaldares March 31, 2022 7:08 pm

      What about my sterling grove?

  • Avatar
    benji Prowell July 22, 2022 2:28 am

    parellel thoughts blue enchantment… 7 cards alternate deck and draw coice.

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