Last updated on January 2, 2024

Witch of the Moors - Illustration by Caio Monteiro

Witch of the Moors | Illustration by Caio Monteiro

Your wretched little lives have all been cursed, ‘cause of all the witches working, I’m the worst! I put a spell on you… and now you’re mine.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

From elves to dwarves to faeries and dragons, there are plenty of classic fairytale and fantasy creatures in Magic. They all have their own flavor, their own identity. They usually have their own creature type too, but not always.

Witches have been around in pop culture for a long time. But what do these wicked spellcasters look like in our favorite card game? Which of them comes out on top as the most powerful in the coven?

Grab your broom, summon your familiar, and let’s gather ‘round the crystal ball to scry the answers!

What Are Witches in MTG?

Veinwitch Coven - Illustration by Caio Monteiro

Veinwitch Coven | Illustration by Caio Monteiro

Witches in Magic are a bit complicated since there’s no actual “witch” creature type. Instead, witches as a tribe (I use this term loosely) are identified by the name of the card.

There’s some room for subjectivity here, since cards like Deny the Witch and Witchstalker have “witch” in the card name, but I think you’d agree with me that we can’t really call these cards witches. So where does that leave us in terms of identifying witches?

First, witches are creatures or planeswalkers (think sentient beings) with the word “witch” in the card name. Second, use some logic. Does “witch” in the name refer to the card itself, or something outside of it? I think you can figure it out from there.

But witches still have some identity to their little makeshift tribe despite the lack of an official subtype. While there’s quite a bit of variety in their actual creature types you’ll see a lot of humans, warlocks, and shamans running around the coven. The bulk of the witches in the game fall under the black portion of the color pie, though there’s a bit of spillover into the other colors for some more diverse flavors of magic.

There aren’t a whole lot of witches in the game, capping out at a few dozen if you count an illegal Mystery Booster test card), so there’s a limit to what you can attribute to their collective. But before I get into it, here are a few minor highlights I wanna point out:

Honorable Mention: Celestine Cave Witch

Celestine Cave Witch

Remember that test card I mentioned from Mystery Booster? Let me introduce you to Celestine Cave Witch.

Warlock is another pretty appropriate creature type for a witch, I guess, and you’ve got some little Insect familiars running around waiting to be sacrificed to their creator’s cursed magic. This is a flavor win for sure.

Shame it’s not legal.

#30. Thorntooth Witch

Thorntooth Witch

I really like how there’s an overlap between witches and treefolk tribal, and Thorntooth Witch is the first example. It really leans more toward the treefolk side but that’s fine. It’s a bit expensive to really be all that useful, though.

#29. Cuombajj Witches

Cuombajj Witches

Okay, I’m sorry, but we need to talk about the gorgeous art on Cuombajj Witches. The symmetry? The colors? The twinkly jewelry and ethereal lighting? Love it.

This enables a bit of politics in your game which can be fun if that’s what you’re going for. Definitely good for a little give-and-take action.

#28. Bitterheart Witch

Bitterheart Witch

Deathtouch is always good, and Bitterheart Witch delivers with a fun little extra: grabbing a Curse from your library to inflict on an opponent of your choice. Of course, it has to die to do that, which means your opponents have to choose if it’s worth sacrificing their creatures, being slowly pinged to death, or just biting the bullet and hoping they’re not your target.

#27. Bog Witch

Bog Witch

Returning to the human spellshaper coven, Bog Witch gives you some extra mana while feeding a potential discard strategy. Not bad at all.

#26. Accursed Witch / Infectious Curse

Another on-death trigger, Accursed Witch brings its own Curse to the mix with its backside. That reverse ward helps entice your opponents to get it there, and then your targeted spells get cheaper. Not to mention the sprinkling of life play.

#25. Warteye Witch

Warteye Witch

Warteye Witch would fit right into a sacrifice deck as a nice little payoff. Also, the art and flavor text make me laugh, so. Points there.

#24. Kindly Stranger / Demon-Possessed Witch

One of the older transforming cards from Shadows over Innistrad, Kindly Stranger’s delirium ability is pretty good since it gets you a 4/3 with a Murder effect.

#23. Bogbrew Witch

Bogbrew Witch

Bogbrew Witch is nothing special on its own; it’s the tools of the trade that make this witch shine (bubble? Brew? You get the idea).

Festering Newt can take down a 4-toughness creature when it dies, and throwing it into the Bubbling Cauldron also hits all your opponents for four life while siphoning that all into your pool.

#22. Knucklebone Witch

Knucklebone Witch

Goblin tribal is a force to be reckoned with, and Knucklebone Witch adds a little magic to the strategy. Growing your tiny little 1-drop 1/1 into something much more powerful can be as easy as dropping a bunch of Goblins with something like Krenko, Mob Boss or Mogg Infestation.

#21. Thoughtpicker Witch

Thoughtpicker Witch

Thoughtpicker Witch may not seem like much, but completely removing a problem card from your opponent’s deck in exchange for and a single piece of sac fodder is nothing to scoff at. Pair it with some sacrifice synergies and all it truly costs you is a single mana.

#20. Tempting Witch

Tempting Witch

Food tribal became a very popular strategy back when the Witch's Oven and Cauldron Familiar combo hit Standard with Throne of Eldraine. Tempting Witch is just another piece of the puzzle.

#19. Dreamspoiler Witches

Dreamspoiler Witches

I have to temper my own jank tendencies and try to look at things rationally.

Dreamspoiler Witches is fine. It’d fit in with faerie tribal, and it’s a nice little flier. But it’s nothing all that special really. Just… fine.

#18. Sedgemoor Witch

Sedgemoor Witch

Menace is good. Ward is good. Magecraft is good.

Sedgemoor Witch is a great card. The token creation and life play is great, and for a decent cost too. We’re getting to the good stuff.

#17. Seedcradle Witch

Seedcradle Witch

Selesnya () probably isn’t the color combo you think of when you think “witch,” but Seedcradle Witch is here to prove you wrong. The art and flavor text really bring the card together, giving a creature the ability to fight again with a boost of extra strength.

And it’s an elf, which means you can slot this into one of the most prolific tribes in the game.

#16. Chittering Witch

Chittering Witch

Rat tribal, rat tribal, rat tribal!

Chittering Witch has some great art, though the name makes me think more of spiders (Witch's Web, anyone?) and insects than rats. Still, it’s a good card in Commander and other multiplayer formats.

And hey, look! More sacrifice synergy.

#15. Tattermunge Witch

Tattermunge Witch

Tattermunge Witch is another goblin, this time offering a boost to your attacking creatures in the midst of combat. Trample and a higher power go hand in hand, so don’t discount this little witch.

#14. Twisted Sewer-Witch

Twisted Sewer-Witch
The rat decks in Wilds of Eldraine are rather rampant and that all-important “each” word is huge. The Twisted Sewer-Witch brings you much closer to attacking for lethal, thanks to the wicked roles on your rats, even two other rats becoming 2/2s can make a big impact.

#13. Lyzolda, the Blood Witch

Lyzolda, the Blood Witch

Lyzolda, the Blood Witch would be a great commander for a witchy Rakdos () sac build. Deal two damage, draw a card, and activate all your sac payoffs in exchange for two mana? Not bad. Just make sure the sacrificial lamb is both red and black to get the full effect.

The cleric subtype doesn’t quite fit in with the theme which is a bit unfortunate, but if you’re not going for creature tribal then that’s of no consequence.

#12. Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch

Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch

Rakdos cleric witches is an interesting road to go down, but at least Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch has a lot of text going for it. First strike, haste, unleash, and a little bit of synergy if you’ve got counters flying around? And it’s legendary.


#11. Mistmeadow Witch

Mistmeadow Witch

Mistmeadow Witch should really be called Olka, Mistmeadow Witch. I guess Wizards didn’t wanna introduce an officially named character, though, unless they intended for Olka to return or be narratively relevant.

Anyway. The blink ability is great, especially since it doesn’t specify whose creature to exile. You can neutralize an opponent’s threat or flicker one of your own creatures to redo an ETB effect.

#10. Witch-king, Bringer of Ruin

Witch-king, Bringer of Ruin
There are limited bomb demons that make your opponent sacrifice a creature, and the Witch-king, Bringer of Ruin is very similar even if it only picks off the little weak ones. Unless your opponent has doubled a bunch of tokens, this wraith burns off chump blockers before they have a chance, and is a good flying threat.

#9. Veinwitch Coven

Veinwitch Coven

One of the problems with witches is that they’re not an official creature type, so it’s kind of hard to build something concrete around them that’s not just… thematic flavor. Your best bet is always to pair them with another tribe for something a little more impactful.

Veinwitch Coven is a witchy vampire, where life play and resurrection abound. Menace is also always a welcome sight.

#8. Inkfathom Witch

Inkfathom Witch

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Fear is a great ability. It had some problems, sure, but mostly just because the name was a bit confusing. The mechanic itself is good.

Inkfathom Witch doesn’t just inflict fear into your opposition. It can also boost the attack power of your unblocked creatures to really hit your opponents where it hurts: right in their life total. Not to mention that it’s a merfolk, which is a pretty well-supported tribe.

#7. Malevolent Witchkite

Malevolent Witchkite
If bargain could scale up and said “Draw a card.” You'd say it's pretty decent. Dare I call Malevolent Witchkite a french vanilla creature, and this is a good version of vanilla that food, enchantment, treasure and other decks want.

#6. Malakir Bloodwitch

Malakir Bloodwitch

Here come more vamps! Malakir Bloodwitch can absolutely devastate your opponents if you drop it in the late game after you’ve built up your board with bloodsuckers. Not to mention setting you up to be virtually unkillable through combat damage for quite some time.

And it’s a flier, and it’s got protection from white. What’s not to love?

#5. Witch-king, Sky Scourge

witch-king, sky scourge

You'll get more cards than you can cast with Witch-king, Sky Scourge attacking alone. With more ring wraiths you may get worried about decking yourself but if you've knocked out your opponents, who cares?

Large creatures with evasion and undying are very powerful and yes this card is expensive and you'll need lots of mana to capitalize on it, but it represents some of the more powerful things you can do in Magic.

#4. Baba Lysaga, Night Witch

Baba Lysaga, Night Witch

Could I interest you in some nice sacrifice strategy? Yes? Great!

Baba Lysaga, Night Witch offers life loss for all your opponents, and lifegain and card draw for you. Just make sure you’ve got a variety of card types to choose from or you’ll be stuck with a basically vanilla 3/3.

#3. Witch-king of Angmar

Witch-king of Angmar
Punish them for attacking you, punish them for not blocking flying, and punish them for trying to remove this card, this all adds up to a tough-to-deal-with creature that affects combat right away, even if its ability never triggers.

You're not worried about the low toughness when you have a way to protect Witch-king of Angmar. Madness decks welcome discard effects like these and mana-less ways of protecting your key cards are really good.

#2. Witch of the Moors

Witch of the Moors

This is the best witch art, hands down. It makes me think of Night Hags from D&D, which are among some of my favorite fey/fiend creatures in the tabletop game. So many hands.

Witch of the Moors offers a truly fantastic payoff for lifegain. Forcing all your opponents to sac one of their beloved creatures while bringing one of your own back from the dead is always fun. And the deathtouch is a nice, well, touch.

#1. Tasha, the Witch Queen

Tasha, the Witch Queen

Well, well, well, if it isn’t the queen of the coven herself.

Tasha, the Witch Queen is the one and only planeswalker that qualifies as a witch, and that’s only thanks to D&D’s Battle for Baldur’s Gate tie-in. Dimir () loves to steal cards, and Tasha does just that.

I doubt we’ll see any more noncreature witches in the future if I’m being honest, which is a bit unfortunate. Still, Tasha is a great representation of the witch tribe and gets #1 just out of respect for her title.

Best Witch Payoffs

Shaman Tribal

There are plenty of different tribes you could just throw one or two witches into, but I prefer when you can basically build witch tribal under the guise of another tribe. Shamans would be my choice.

Gruul () is your best bet when it comes to shaman tribal, but that’s a bit out of bounds for witches. You’re probably gonna wanna go for Jund () so that you can throw the best black witches into the fray while still getting the best shaman payoffs. Think cards like Bosk Banneret (dual shaman-treefolk tribal, anyone?), Harmonic Prodigy, Rage Forger, and Leaf-Crowned Elder.

The Jankiest of Jank: Pure Witch “Tribal”

You can’t really build a tribal deck if there’s no thread of synergy between the cards, which is hard to do when there’s no concrete mechanical tie-in between them (like a creature type). So how are you supposed to build witch tribal, you ask?

It’s all about the theme. Pick whatever witches from the rankings above that spark a bit of magic in you and pair them with cards that fit the thematic tribe. Curses, familiars, cauldrons, and tomes, anything that feels a little witchy to you works just fine.

Things like Witch's Cauldron, Bubbling Cauldron, Festering Newt, and the cat/Oven combo give you a bit of sacrifice synergy if you want some actual strategy in your deck.

On the other hand, cards like Witches' Eye, Witching Well, Tome of the Infinite, and The Hourglass Coven don’t really have a coherent game plan, but they sure do have a lot of flavor.

Throw in Witch's Clinic, Hedgewitch's Mask, Witch's Vengeance, and Witch's Cottage for some variety in your spell and card types and you’re set!

Are There Witches in MTG?

Yes, and no. While there’s no “witch” creature type in Magic, there are witches by name. It’s all a bit complicated, though, which makes the makeshift tribe (coven?) of witches kinda tricky.

Wrap Up

Cuombajj Witches - Illustration by Seb McKinnon

Cuombajj Witches | Illustration by Seb McKinnon

I am very into witches and magic, both in fantasy and real life. I’ve got a big cauldron filled with candy and snacks that lives in my living room year-round, warlock is my favorite D&D class, and I’m actually a practicing witch.

Suffice it to say that while I love the witches that Magic offers us, I’m also incredibly disappointed that they don’t have their own creature type. There’s at least some flavor and sprinklings of lore (thank you Innistrad twins), but I’m eager for more.

What do you think of all this? Do you think R&D should stick to relegating witches to warlocks and shamans and spellshapers, or do they deserve their own subtype? What’s your favorite witch in the game? Let me know in the comments below or @ us on X/Twitter.

Anyway, I’m off to collect the D&D dice I left out last night for a moon bath. Kiss your cats for me, and be nice to nature!

(EN: Know what I want to see? A Dimir or Sultai witch with an activated ability or ability that’s a Turn to Frog, maybe mixed with some creature theft. Maybe another ability that tutors for Witch's Familiars or pumps out Frog tokens. Tack on a “whenever a frog dies” ability, make it legendary, and you’ve got yourself a creature that’s worth brewing around.)

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