Neheb, the Eternal - Illustration by Chris Rahn

Neheb, the Eternal | Illustration by Chris Rahn

Red is the color of chaos, so it makes sense that anything it does is inspired by that. Red card draw is more often impulse draw than anything else, and red mana acceleration comes in large bursts rather than through land fetching or your typical mana dorks.

Looking to go off in one turn, but you just need that slight mana bump to do it? I’ve got you covered with a deep dive into all red ritual effects in Magic. Let’s get into it!

What Are Red Rituals in MTG?

Dockside Extortionist - Illustration by Lie Setiawan

Dockside Extortionist | Illustration by Lie Setiawan

A ritual is a nickname for a card that creates more mana than it costs to cast. Named after Alpha’s Dark Ritual, rituals give you a burst of extra mana. Sometimes that mana is temporary and disappears in the next phase, and sometimes the extra mana takes the form of Treasure tokens.

Red rituals give you mana that you can use immediately, generate more mana than you spent to cast the card, and have a mono-red color identity. That means no delayed mana (Braid of Fire), no colorless or multicolor cards (Grand Warlord Radha), and nothing that just “nets even” (Apex of Power). I’m also ignoring banned cards like Mox Ruby.

#37. Brood Birthing

Brood Birthing

You want a comprehensive list? Dive deep enough into any pool and you’ll find some real stinkers.

Brood Birthing only counts as a ritual if you already control an Eldrazi Spawn token, and that’s not a token that a lot of Commander decks create.

#36. Mana Seism

Mana Seism

Mana Seism looks like a last-ditch effort to make a bunch of mana. It’s doing its best impression of Rain of Filth, but it costs more mana upfront and can’t produce colored mana.

#35. Inner Fire

Inner Fire

You need at least five other cards in your hand when you cast Inner Fire to net mana. At least you have something to spend it on?

#34. Dragonrage

Dragonrage

Dragonrage gives your attackers “firebreathing” and the mana to pump them. The mana doesn’t stick around past the combat step, so you’ll need to sink it in somewhere right away.

#33. Ardent Electromancer

Ardent Electromancer

With all four party types on board, Ardent Electromancer gives you a +1 mana advantage on ETB. It’s not really a huge payoff, but it fills out a party deck well enough.

#32. Infernal Plunge

Infernal Plunge

I’d look elsewhere before taking Infernal Plunge. The two extra mana you get for the turn is rarely worth sacrificing one of your creatures.

#31. Brightstone Ritual

Brightstone Ritual

Brightstone Ritual is a powerful effect, but only for goblin decks. There’s a more generic version of this effect coming up.

#30. Skirk Prospector

Skirk Prospector

I guess it’s the goblin section of the list. Skirk Prospector is either feast or famine when it comes to deckbuilding. This has a ritual-like ability to turn your creatures into mana in a goblin deck.

#29. Open the Omenpaths

Open the Omenpaths

Open the Omenpaths gives you four mana for the price of three. There’s a restriction on how you can spend that mana (bad), and the second mode brings almost nothing else to the table (also bad).

#28. Simian Spirit Guide

Simian Spirit Guide

It might be strange to think of Simian Spirit Guide as a ritual, but it fits. You’re up a red mana without spending any, which makes the Guide an ideal card for turboing out early-game combos.

I wouldn’t play this casually, though, because the loss of an entire card isn’t usually worth a free mana.

#27. Desperate Ritual + Pyretic Ritual

Desperate RitualPyretic Ritual

Apart from some arcane text, Desperate Ritual and Pyretic Ritual are functionally the same. They’re both part of the “+1 club” and are about as generic as rituals get.

#26. Rite of Flame

Rite of Flame

Rite of Flame is another small-ball ritual that loses some of its functionality in Singleton formats. You won’t be getting more than one extra mana from this unless your opponents have copies in their graveyards.

#25. Irencrag Feat

Irencrag Feat

The more expensive the ritual, the more mana you expect to get. Irencrag Feat provides a huge leap in mana, but it locks you into casting only one more spell that turn.

#24. Spiteful Repossession

Spiteful Repossession

Spiteful Repossession only qualifies as a ritual if you’re behind on land drops. It can help you catch up on mana while dealing some damage to your opponents against heavy ramp decks.

#23. Seething Song

Seething Song

How big of a mana boost are two extra mana? Obviously enough to earn Seething Song a ban in Modern. There are better options in Commander, but I wouldn’t fault someone for using this as their play-starter in a combo deck.

#22. Indulge // Excess

Indulge // Excess

The Indulge side of Indulge // Excess helps create a small army of creature tokens while Excess acts as an aftermath ritual that scales with the number of creatures that dealt damage. It’s inconsistent, but token decks that go wide can net large amounts of Treasure from it.

#21. Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge

Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge

Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge works best as a post-sweeper follow-up. The dragon should more than pay for itself right away if you can clear some creatures off the board before casting it.

#20. Runaway Steam-Kin

Runaway Steam-Kin

Runaway Steam-Kin benefits from casting a flurry of red spells. Each spell you cast is essentially a red mana, but you can only cash in on it in chunks of three at a time.

#19. Rousing Refrain

Rousing Refrain

I’d like Rousing Refrain much more if there weren’t an amplified version of this effect higher up on the list. The abilities to suspend and repeat this are cute, but it’s easy to play around once it’s out in the open.

#18. Mana Flare

Mana Flare

Mana Flare has the ritual-esque ability to pay for itself and leave some mana left over once it resolves. This sort of effect has been moved over to green with cards like Heartbeat of Spring, but red got to try it out during early Magic design.

Be careful: it’s a symmetrical effect.

#17. Thermopod

Thermopod

Thermopod is a more universal Skirk Prospector. It can cash them in for extra mana if you can fill the board with expendable creatures.

#16. Mana Echoes

Mana Echoes

Mana Echoes rewards you for sticking to one creature type. If you do, each of those creatures refunds a chunk of mana when it enters the battlefield.

My first experience with this card was losing to an infinite combo against Sliver Queen.

#15. The Reaver Cleaver

The Reaver Cleaver

The Reaver Cleaver costs six mana to cast and equip and then the equipped creature needs to deal at least seven damage before this approaches ritual territory. It generates more Treasure beyond the initial hit which makes it a scary equipment if it sticks around.

#14. Gauntlet of Might

Gauntlet of Might

Gauntlet of Might is Alpha’s second red mana doubler. As with Mana Flare the bonuses affect all players, but you should be able to maximize it if you put it in your deck.

#13. Battle Hymn

Battle Hymn

Battle Hymn is the less restrictive version of Brightstone Ritual. This might be the best ritual for decks that can flood the board with creatures.

#12. _____ Goblin

_____ Goblin

Love them or hate them, some Unfinity cards are here to stay in Commander. The amount of mana _____ Goblin generates on depends on how many vowels are in the name sticker you put on it.

“Delusionary” is one of the available stickers, so it’s easy to double the amount of mana you spent on the card.

#11. Surly Badgersaur

Surly Badgersaur

It’s a stretch to call Surly Badgersaur a ritual, but it can technically pay for itself the turn it comes down. That won’t happen often, but you can pump out a lot of Treasure with enough cycling and wheeling.

#10. Brass’s Bounty

Brass's Bounty

Brass’s Bounty is a standard big ritual effect. You break even at seven lands, and anything above nets you extra mana. It takes the form of Treasure tokens so you can even save that mana up for another explosive turn.

#9. Reckless Endeavor

Reckless Endeavor

Reckless Endeavor mimics Brass’s Bounty and tacks on a red sweeper. Everything comes down to the roll of a few d12, but I’ve found that Endeavor often pays for itself, sweeps the board, and usually leaves some extra Treasure behind.

#8. Treasonous Ogre

Treasonous Ogre

Treasonous Ogre has the unique ability to convert life into red mana. It’s a very uncharacteristic thing for red, but it’s powerful nonetheless.

With your life total still at 40 you could make up to 13 red mana as soon as you play this.

#7. Koth of the Hammer

Koth of the Hammer

Koth of the Hammer works as a ritual effect with five or more Mountains on board. The rest of the abilities leaves some room for improvement, but the -2 is the main appeal of this planeswalker.

#6. Birgi, God of Storytelling

Birgi, God of Storytelling

Birgi, God of Storytelling will refund you a red mana for each spell you cast if you’re planning on chaining spells together. There are some obvious infinites you can achieve here, and Harnfel, Horn of Bounty has some merit too.

#5. Storm-Kiln Artist

Storm-Kiln Artist

Storm-Kiln Artist strikes fear into my heart whenever I see it on the battlefield. It generates mana from casting or copying spells, it’s a combo extender for storm decks, and it sometimes whacks a player for 10+ damage.

#4. Neheb, the Eternal

Neheb, the Eternal

A well-timed Neheb, the Eternal can be lights out for your opponents. Playing this pre-combat when you already have good attacks means you’re getting a huge post-combat mana payday.

Don’t let this live through combat if you see it on the opposing side.

#3. Mana Geyser

Mana Geyser

Mana Geyser puts so many other cards on this list to shame. Dating back to Fifth Dawn, it’s the perfect example of a card that wasn’t designed with multiplayer in mind, and it excels because of it.

You can expect this 5-mana spell to add upwards of 15 to 20 mana at once if you pick the right opening.

#2. Jeska’s Will

Jeska's Will

Jeska’s Will is at its best with your commander on board. But even without your commander it can easily add seven mana on turn 3 to push you ahead.

This is incredible early, and still highly effective into the late-game.

#1. Dockside Extortionist

Dockside Extortionist

Have I mentioned how much I hate Dockside Extortionist? This little goblin costs a mere two mana but sometimes creates upwards of 10+ Treasures on ETB.

The comparison to a “real” ritual like Pyretic Ritual is laughable, and it’s an ETB effect, the most loopable, repeatable effects in Magic.

Best Red Ritual Payoffs

Fireballs

What better way to use a bunch of red mana than sinking it into some big over-the-top X spell? Red has no shortage of Fireball-type effects to dump excess red mana into. Some of my favorites are Crackle with Power, Jaya’s Immolating Inferno, and Comet Storm.

Storm

Ignite MemoriesGalvanic Relay

Storm decks thrive off ritual effects. Their goal is to cast as many spells as possible, finishing up with your storm card of choice. Whether you’re trying to win with copies of Ignite Memories or extend your combo potential with Galvanic Relay, red rituals can give you the mana and “storm count” needed to combo off.

Wrap Up

Storm-Kiln Artist - Illustration by Manuel Castañon

Storm-Kiln Artist | Illustration by Manuel Castañon

That’s it for red rituals! Some of these cards aren’t quite what players have in mind when they think of rituals, but they all fit our criteria. Hopefully you discovered something new on this list and put it to good use.

What’s your favorite red rituals? How you use them in your Commander decks? Let me know in the comments below or over on Draftsim’s Twitter.

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