Last updated on March 31, 2023

Wilderness Reclamation - Illustration by Tyler Walpole

Wilderness Reclamation | Illustration by Tyler Walpole

Ramp can come in all forms. You’ve got your mana dorks and mana rocks. You’ve got your Treasure tokens and Eldrazi Scion tokens. There’s planeswalker abilities, artifacts, tutors, and more.

But nothing, no nothing is more fun than seeing your opponent’s face turn grim when you untap all your lands. The biggest bang comes when you tap out just before announcing your spell and its effect. For just a second, your opponents think you’ll be locked from interacting… until you pull a full reversal, ready to cast something impactful.

So which cards in Magic are the ones that’ll untap your lands? Which are the best at it, and how can you use them to your advantage?

(I will not make a “mana overboard” pun, I will not make a “mana overboard” pun, I will not…)

Table of Contents

What Are Untap Land Cards in MTG?

Pore Over the Pages - Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

Pore Over the Pages | Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

Untap land cards can untap one or more lands. When talking about them from a deckbuilding perspective, you usually expect ramp options that untap your lands, but some of them let you choose which player’s lands untap.

Untapping lands mostly belongs to blue and green, which makes sense when you think of it. Blue’s got the whole “setup” and “control” themes going, while green owns ramp and many land-based abilities.

Some spells untap lands and turn them into creatures, often elementals. They aren’t “untap land” cards in the ramp sense unless you really need to untap that one Island you have or something, so they’re begrudgingly included here at the bottom of their color rankings. I’m not including lands that usually come in tapped but can come in untapped if certain criteria are met. Same goes if a card puts lands onto the battlefield tapped but has a similar untap condition (with a few exceptions).

Benthic Explorers is a close call because it untaps an opponent’s land as part of the cost of activating its ability. The words are there, but the untapping is framed as part of the cost of the ability, not the ability itself.

Best White Untap Land Card

#1. Trade Caravan

Trade Caravan

Best doesn’t mean good.

Trade Caravan lets you untap a land when you have two or more currency counters to, heh, trade in. It doesn’t enter with any on it, and it’s not a counter than you can easily get elsewhere unless you’re proliferating. Even Perrie, the Pulverizer might think twice before running this 1-drop just to have the counter variety.

Best Blue Untap Land Cards

#21. Kiora Bests the Sea God

Kiora Bests the Sea God

I don’t think you’re planning on stealing a land when you cast Kiora Bests the Sea God. At least, not usually, or not at first. The flavor is more permanent stealing, so that’s why Kiora Bests the Sea God sinks to this level.

#20. Oboro Breezecaller

Oboro Breezecaller

I don’t really like Oboro Breezecaller’s untapping ability. It costs two mana on the surface, but you also have to return a land you control to hand to pull it off. You’re slowing yourself down on land drops any time you use this.

That is, unless you’re playing multiple lands per turn, perhaps looking for landfall triggers.

#19. Kiora, the Tide’s Fury

Kiora, the Tide's Fury

Kiora, the Tide's Fury offers you a similar +1 ability to Kiora, Master of the Depths. It only untaps a creature or a land, and it nullifies damage done to or by it this turn. It’s an Arena exclusive, so you won’t be sleeving it up in EDH. It’s also only legal in Historic.

#18. Pore Over the Pages

Pore Over the Pages

Lemme put on my thinking cap. So. You put in five mana. You get three cards. Then you get back two mana. And then you toss a card. Net result, two cards for a cost of three mana.

Pore Over the Pages does a lot of individual things, but it doesn’t excel at any of them for its mana price.

#17. Trickster Mage

Trickster Mage

A 1/1 1-drop that taps with to tap or untap one permanent. Trickster Mage isn’t impressive overall. It’s not an ETB that you can flicker, bounce, or reanimate, and the rate is… fine. It’s pretty squishy, though.

#16. Infuse + Jolt + Twitch

Not much to peruse on Infuse. Untap an artifact, creature, or land. Draw a card later. Cool. Jolt is the same, but it gives you the choice to tap or untap. Same cost, same permanent types, same promise of a card. Twitch gives you the “may” text to make tapping optional and gives you the card immediately.

Moving on.

#15. Reset


You probably aren’t playing Reset, but that’s probably more because it’s from all the way in Legends. I like the 2-drop mass untapping at (now) instant speed. I do not like only being able to cast it during my opponent’s turn after their upkeep.

You need to have two blue sources open to pull it off, and the timing means you’re likely spending mana to counter something, remove something, or pump up your blockers. You’re doing something along those lines, defensively minded.

#14. Great Whale

Great Whale

This won’t be the first card you see that pays for itself.

The only reason Great Whale is so low is because it’s so costly and doesn’t synergize with sea creatures (krakens, leviathans, octopuses, and serpents). It doesn’t have as much of a home as the others, even though it’s such a big net-neutral creature.

#13. Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter is an enchantment that allows you to discard a card to tap or untap a creature, land, or artifact. It costs six mana just to get it out, but it can work for you if you’re generating a lot of card draw.

#12. Kelpie Guide

Kelpie Guide

Kelpie Guide isn’t all that great at tapping other permanents because you have to control eight or more lands to be able to do it. But it’s pretty decent at untapping them.

You can use its tap-to-untap ability to get one of your lands. Using the ability only for lands turns this into an overcosted Voyaging Satyr with extra frills, so don’t forget to consider all your options.

#11. Treachery


Et tu, Brutus?

Treachery doesn’t have a specific home, but it’s a solid “take control” card given the built-in refund. The only way you’re going to boost that is by copying this enchantment’s ETB, or bringing it back from your graveyard.

Good card, but those are slightly less likely copy conditions. We’re in blue right now, and I have to consider those.

#10. Twiddle


The sleek, how-you-want-­it, when-you-want-it design of the original Twiddle. It’s like museum quality artwork, you know?

It’s a fixer at its base, but it gets better when you copy it. It can tap or untap more, of course, including your better mana rocks. As a blue land untapper, Twiddle is a baseline in terms of spells to cast and copy.

#9. Cloud of Faeries

Cloud of Faeries

The cheapest and likely cutest of the creatures that basically pay for themselves, Cloud of Faeries comes in for two and untaps as many lands. You can also cycle it for the same cost. All around a solid card given its combination of casting cost and abilities.

#8. Time Spiral

Time Spiral

Ah yes, Time Spiral, from the set called… Urza’s Saga.

The refund policy is back. Time Spiral leaves the board alone, but it’ll reset your hands and graveyards and give everyone seven cards. These kinds of cards are always risky maneuvers that can add so much fun to the game.

#7. Palinchron


Palinchron is another creature that basically pay for itself. What boosts this over Great Whale and other auto-refund creatures is that Palinchron has evasion in the form of a return-to-hand ability.

#6. Peregrine Drake

Peregrine Drake

I suspect that Peregrine Drake sees more play because it’s been reprinted more recently than some of the creatures I’ve discussed. It’s also a solid middle between the 7-mana Palinchron and the 2-mana Cloud of Faeries. The flying and 2/3 stats make it a little less squishy.

Something I haven’t mentioned with ETB effects that untap lands is that, well… you can copy them.

#5. Rewind + Unwind

Rewind Unwind

Read the card name and read the card and you’ll probably hear some ‘90s-esque tape Rewind effect in your ear. You’ll need a second counter-target if you want to copy this spell to double the untapping. If it fizzles on an illegal target, you don’t get to untap the lands.

Unwind is its slightly cheaper, noncreature-targeting cousin.

#4. Snap


The main point of Snap is the bounce effect. That makes it more useful than a counterspell that untaps lands when it resolves to me, because you’ll usually have more legal targets available to you if you decide to copy it for more untapping.

#3. Frantic Search

Frantic Search

Is it a draw spell? Is it a discard spell? Is it an untap spell? Who knows! But your Frantic Search will at least be fruitful by paying for itself.

#2. Finale of Revelation

Finale of Revelation

Finale of Revelation is my exception to the “no conditional untapping” rule because it feels like this was built for you to strive toward that condition. It’s an X spell that untaps lands and draws that many cards, but an X of 10 or more lets you shuffle your graveyard into your library and untap five lands.

Oh, and it eliminates your maximum hand size until the end of the game! Geez, I think I’ve had my own revelation.

#1. Turnabout


Turnabout can do a lot of things for you between its tapping and untapping abilities and the permanent types it can target. If you focus on untapping your lands, four-for-all is solid considering three mana gets you one land and a card with Twitch.

It can be a financially cheap middle-curve card for your Mizzix of the Izmagnus deck’s experience counters, too.

Best Red Untap Land Cards

#3. Turf War

Turf War

Turf War is more of a take-control spell than an untap spell, but red’s hurting so much for representation that I’m including it.

It’s nice and flavorful: you end taking lands whenever your creatures deal damage to players that have one of the contested lands and losing them when damage is dealt to you. It captures the spirit of fighting over land ownership pretty well.

#2. Koth of the Hammer

Koth of the Hammer

While Koth of the Hammer has a better ramp option in its -2 loyalty ability, I’m focused on its +1 today. Untapping a Mountain to make it an elemental isn’t in the spirit of untapping lands either, but again, red needed bodies. Er, cards.

#1. Fiery Gambit

Fiery Gambit

Fiery Gambit is a red spell, through and through. It only untaps all your lands if you manage to win three coin flips in a row. It also pays off its one flip and two flip payouts when you get to the higher levels, so you also get three damage to a creature, six damage to each opponent, and nine cards in your hand.

Those cards came with the lands untapping, but who cares! You won the coin-flip minigame, and that’s what matters.

Best Green Untap Land Cards

#28. Tawnos’s Tinkering

Tawnos's Tinkering

A flexible creature buff that can animate a land or artifact. Neat idea, but I’ll pass on Tawnos's Tinkering.

#27. Wakeroot Elemental + Silvanus’s Invoker + Woodcaller Automaton

Wakeroot Elemental, Silvanus's Invoker, Woodcaller Automaton, thanks for coming. Go join all the other land animation effects over there. We appreciate your participation and cooperation, thank you.

#26. Nissa, Vital Force + Nissa, Worldwaker

Nissa, Vital Force Nissa, Worldwaker

Nissa, Vital Force and Nissa, Worldwaker also here, for the same issue of focusing its land untapping on land animation.

#25. Nissa, Vastwood Seer / Nissa, Sage Animist

Lotta text between Nissa, Vastwood Seer and Nissa, Sage Animist. Same land animation trend on the ultimate.

I could honestly rank this much higher due to the sheer number of lands that are untapped this way, but I made a conscious decision to put all land animation at the bottom of their respective lists. I’m not turning around now; you know how many Nissas are still left?

#24. Woodland Guidance

Woodland Guidance

Conditional untapping based on clashing is far from ideal. Woodland Guidance also only untaps your Forests. And it returns a card from your graveyard to your hand.

This screams unfocused to me, so allow me to guide you away.

#23. Elder Druid

Elder Druid

This is one Elder I don’t mind disrespecting. The total of the casting cost and activation cost just isn’t worth is to use Elder Druid for any kind of tapping or untapping. There are far more efficient ways to get to the same destination, old timer.

#22. Civic Gardener

Civic Gardener

Such an upstanding citizen. Civic Gardener’s untapping ability can get either a creature or a land, but it’s stapled to an attack trigger.

Overall not the best kind of untapping ability to have if you want it repeatable.

#21. Initiate’s Companion

Initiate's Companion

Somehow, I don’t think this kitty wants pets. Just a vibe I’m getting.

Initiate's Companion gives you Civic Gardener’s trigger but shifts it to when you deal combat damage to a player. That’s it, kitten. Draw blood.

#20. Urban Burgeoning

Urban Burgeoning

Urban Burgeoning is an enchantment that allows a land to untap during each other players’ untap steps. It’s nice, but it’s harder to amplify it than a lot of other types of land untapping. That and card slots are also one of your resources.

#19. Hope Tender

Hope Tender

I don’t like untapping abilities that you have to pay for in general. I want ramp, not fixing. Hope Tender gives you some flexibility with its first ability and its exert ability, but why wouldn’t you just run a Voyaging Satyr in the same 2-drop slot?

#18. Blossom Dryad + Juniper Order Druid + Ley Druid

The statlines, name, and creature typing are the only differences between Blossom Dryad, Juniper Order Druid, and Ley Druid. You can get this ability on cheaper creatures.

#17. Azusa’s Many Journeys / Likeness of the Seeker

Azusa's Many Journeys’s transformed side is where we find our untapping. You get three when it becomes blocked. While three is a lovely number, I’m docking some points because it doesn’t trigger if your opponents let the Likeness through.

#16. Saryth, the Viper’s Fang

Saryth, the Viper’s Fang

Listen. Listen. I know that Saryth, the Viper's Fang is a good card. Its abilities that care about whether your creatures are tapped or not are a combo of protection and aggression. The land untapping costs mana and only gets one, and that’s all that matters here.

#15. Nissa, Genesis Mage

Nissa, Genesis Mage

Overall, Nissa, Genesis Mage is a pretty costly planeswalker. Between that mana cost and the number of turns it’ll take, how sure are you of reaching that ultimate? (Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider has my answer.)

The untapping ability is fine by the way. It gets two creatures and two lands, which is much appreciated. But yeah. Takes a lot to get this out in the first place, and you might rather A) have something else in your 7 slot, or B) not have a curve that runs that high.

#14. Nature’s Chosen

Nature's Chosen

And the award for most squinty rules text goes to Nature's Chosen. You only get to untap the enchanted creature on your turn, which limits your ability to use it to untap lands even if the creature is white.

Still, all of this on a 1-drop is a tidy piece of business.

#13. Rustvine Cultivator

Rustvine Cultivator

The card design sure reflects a mana dork corrupted by Phyrexia. Rustvine Cultivator is probably designed to have its slower mana production drawbacks outweighed by the proliferate effect in All Will Be One, so this elf druid will be better in some decks than others.

#12. Rude Awakening

Rude Awakening

The intersection of untapping and animating lands is an interesting one. I find this sorcery a little expensive considering that there are cheaper instants that’ll get the job done.

Rude Awakening offers you the chance to entwine the two, though, so that’s the upside.

#11. Stone-Seeder Hierophant

Stone-Seeder Hierophant

Part of what makes Stone-Seeder Hierophant so expensive is its non-keyworded landfall ability that untaps it. Fine on its own, but it’ll do better when you’ve got ways to play multiple lands per turn.

#10. Magus of the Candelabra

Magus of the Candelabra

Magus of the Candelabra is like Candelabra of Tawnos on a similarly costed body. Being green limits where it can play (slightly), and being a creature makes it easier to dispose of.

#9. Awakening


I first misread Awakening and thought this was a one-sided play. “All.” Not “all your.” Oof.

It’s a lot fairer than my interpretation and gives you lots of untapped permanents at nearly all times. Thing is, it does that for everyone else too.

#8. Early Harvest

Early Harvest

Untapping your basics for three seems like a decent trade-off on an instant. I like how Ninth Edition’s Early Harvest has flavor text from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

#7. Voyaging Satyr + Sculptor of Winter

Voyaging Satyr Sculptor of Winter

Voyaging Satyr gives me nostalgia for my baby-Magic days and wanting to build a deck around my Xenagos planeswalker. It’s pretty standard fare, tapping to untap a land and coming in for two. Sculptor of Winter is its snow-specific echo fighter, for you Smash Bros Ultimate players out there.

#6. Krosan Restorer

Krosan Restorer

Krosan Restorer and Voyaging Satyr could easily flip. Same statlines and base untapping ability, but I think untapping up to three when you reach the threshold of seven cards in your graveyard is worth that extra mana pip.

#5. Argothian Elder + Ley Weaver

Argothian Elder Ley Weaver

Argothian Elder gives you a two-for-one tapping rate, which explains why it costs four rather than two. It’s also an elf, so it’s got a few more homes than if it had some other fantastical forest creature type.

Ley Weaver gives you the same rate, and it’s got partner with Lore Weaver.

#4. Garruk Wildspeaker

Garruk Wildspeaker

The first ability is really where untapping belongs on most planeswalkers. Garruk Wildspeaker offers you its +1 to untap two lands.

Not much else to say; this is what you want out of a planeswalker untapping ability aside from an ultimate that untaps all your lands.

#3. Nature’s Will

Nature's Will

Oh, I like this. As in, the gremblin is back (I’m leaving that typo in, thanks). Nature's Will takes the kind of ability that some creatures only have for themselves, spreads it to your whole board, and punishes the defending opponent if it triggers.

They’d better hope it’s their turn soon…

#2. Bear Umbra

Bear Umbra

Bear Umbra does a lot of little things that add up to a bunch of things. It starts by buffing your creature and giving it some totem armor protection. Then it adds an attack trigger that untaps not one, but all your lands.

A deck like Chishiro, the Shattered Blade or Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief can make use of an aura like that, whether or not you’re buffing/protecting your commander.

#1. Wilderness Reclamation

Wilderness Reclamation

Enchantments and land plays are so green. Wilderness Reclamation untaps your lands on your end step. That’s laughably great and frees you up for all kinds of defense and interaction.

Best Multicolored Untap Land Cards

#8. Wellspring


Before we get into Wellspring, just know that its text is slightly different on the physical card than it is on the Gatherer right now. It doesn’t really change the meaning, other than removing redundancies and clarifying that you get to untap the enchanted land when you gain control of it. You gain control at the beginning of your turn, which would suggest before your untap step, but this change makes the card that much clearer.

Clearer ain’t better. It’s more of a take-control card than an untap card, and you can only access the land on your turn.

#7. Nissa, Steward of Elements

Nissa, Steward of Elements

Again with the elementals. The point isn’t to ramp when you’re untapping these lands, but you get two of ‘em! And they fly! That’s something, right?

You’ll need six loyalty between casting and using Nissa, Steward of Elements‘s +2 to scry to pull it off. This comes in pretty mid with ramp on the mind.

#6. Nissa of Shadowed Boughs

Nissa of Shadowed Boughs

Since we’re talking lands, I’ll mention that I like Nissa of Shadowed Boughs’s landfall ability that gives it loyalty counters. That’s just so neat, I wish I’d see that more often.

Otherwise there’s nothing special to talk about this Nissa for land untapping. It’s another land animating ability, this time with a 3/3 menacing haster.

#5. Prophet of Kruphix

Prophet of Kruphix

Prophet of Kruphix is banned in Commander, and having suffered played against multiple copies in a Standard deck way back, I can understand that. It gives you so much value by letting you cast creatures as though they have flash and untapping all your lands during each player’s untap step. Now you’ve got creatures coming in any turn with ETB triggers all over the place.

Yeah, I don’t want to face this again for a while.

#4. Zacama, Primal Calamity

Zacama, Primal Calamity

Look, I’ve had a dino phase like any self-respecting former child. But Zacama, Primal Calamity isn’t the best at untapping lands. Sorry. It’s an ability that’s stapled to Zacama’s ETB with a casting caveat. You can’t abuse it as easily as you could other ETB abilities, and you have to cough up nine mana to cast it.

#3. Beledros Witherbloom

Beledros Witherbloom

Beledros Witherbloom gives you an ability that lets you cash in life to untap your lands. 10 life seems fair for this.

It’s capped at one activation per turn, which also makes sense. You don’t want to turn any infinite lifegain combo into an infinite mana engine, now, would you?

#2. Kiora, Master of the Depths

Kiora, Master of the Depths

A loyalty ability that goes +1 to untap a creature and a land? I’ll take it. It’s nothing overwhelming, but no plus loyalty ability should be.

Kiora, Master of the Depths gives you a fairly standard planeswalker untapping ability. I rate positive abilities like this a little high because you’re also building loyalty toward either more -2 activations or an ultimate. The planner in me appreciates these little investments for a better future turn.

#1. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria offers you card advantage and mana advantage on the same loyalty ability. If you pop its +1, you get a card now and untapped lands later.

This is fairly bread-and-butter. It only ranks above Kiora, Master of the Depths, but they’d be in the same tier if these rankings were tier-based.

Best Colorless Untap Land Cards

#3. Deserted Temple

Deserted Temple

Not all “top 3s” are made equal; these are all far better than anything red had to show us. Deserted Temple is a great fixing land that’ll either give you colorless mana or untap another land for .

It’ll do good work, whether it’s just mana fixing or if it’s letting you reactivate other land abilities.

#2. Candelabra of Tawnos

Candelabra of Tawnos

Candelabra of Tawnos is a fantastic little artifact. A 1-drop that lets you pump X to untap X lands without wasting mana on an activation cost (, etc.) is fantastic.

It’s only been printed in Antiquities and Masters Edition IV, so don’t expect to find it cheap.

#1. Sword of Feast and Famine

Sword of Feast and Famine

Sword of Feast and Famine gives you a lot of value, but I’m focused on the last bit of text. The one that gives you repeatable, optional untapping when the equipped creature deals combat damage to a player. You only need to put in mana to cast it and equip it, but otherwise, let ‘er go.

Perfect for setting up a second main phase or leaving up some mana for interaction on your opponents’ turns. I appreciate that it’s protected from black and green because that saves it from at least some artifact hate.

Best Untap Land Payoffs

Untapping lands is a form of ramp that opens up your ability to cast more spells or use your permanents’ activated abilities. On opponents’ turns, untapping lands can serve to let you cast a costlier counterspell or a spell with flash. Since it belongs mostly to green and blue, you’re often going to be dropping big land or sea creatures, pumping X spells like hydras, or casting a flurry of spells and abilities that buffs and/or protects your board before mounting an attack or digging in to defend.

Deserted Temple

Spells that untap only one or two lands are better used with fixing in mind. For example, Deserted Temple costs you mana to let it untap another land, but which land will that be? The only black source you have out, for instance?

The spells that basically pay for themselves by untapping lands when they come in can have their ETB abilities reused. You can double your creature ETB triggers with Yarok, the Desecrated or if you’re flickering them with something like Oji, the Exquisite Blade.

Krark, the Thumbless is just one of the commanders that can copy spells like Snap, while Lier, Disciple of the Drowned gives it flashback to rep for the graveyard strategies.

In a game of Commander, untapping all your lands can help to get out an expensive/heavily-taxed commander without locking you out of doing other things with your turn. And I guess I’ll mention it, mass land animation combined with mass land untapping can be a big boost if anything on the board cares about the number of creatures you have, attacking or otherwise.

Can Players Untap Only One Land Per Turn?

No. During your upkeep you can untap all lands that are eligible to be untapped (some don’t untap on their owner’s next untap step depending on their own abilities and what else has gone on in the game, like Cinder Marsh). You can untap as many lands as you want during your main phases if you can pay for the spells or trigger the abilities that do so.

But some spells can affect the game to change this. Hokori, Dust Drinker, Mungha Wurm, Rising Waters, and Winter Orb are spells that can reduce the number of lands you untap during your untap step, but they don’t restrict your capacity to cast spells or use abilities to untap lands.

Do You Untap Lands Before Upkeep?

Yes! Untap is the first step of the beginning phase of your turn, followed by your upkeep and draw steps.

Mana the Hour

Prophet of Kruphix - Illustration by Winona Nelson

Prophet of Kruphix | Illustration by Winona Nelson

Untapping lands can get you out of a bind, but it’s so much better when you can use it to set up a huge payoff. My personal favorites? Sea creatures, hydras, dragons… in order words, big and punishing. Hopefully you’ve found some new options or rediscovered some old favorites!

Which land untapping spells do you like to use? What do you like to use your freshly untapped lands for? Let me know in the comments below or over in the Draftsim Discord. Don’t forget to keep up with our blog to scout for more untapped potential.

Thanks for reading, and stay hydrated! (Speaking of things left untapped…)

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