Hello and welcome to another Top 10! Today we’ll take a look at the best cheap MTG cards. Most of these cards cost around a dollar or so, but provide a very powerful effect.
Our rankings are by no means definitive, since it’s hard to fairly compare some of those cards to one another. Anyway, take a look at them and then tells us where we’re wrong in the comments below.
#10 Gurmag Angler
Our Top 10 best MTG cheap cards starts off with this big zombie fish. Newer players might think: “Seven mana for a 5/5 with one keyword… What’s going on?”
As it turns out, the keyword delve is broken in half. You’ll want some support in form of fetch lands like Polluted Delta or budget options like Evolving Wilds. Cards like Thought Scour and Faithless Looting are good too. Angler can quickly become a 1-mana creature with their help.
However, you can just play a fair game of Magic with cheap cards and cast a 5/5 for two or three mana in a long game. Since Gurmag Angler is a common, it’s basically as cheap as it can be, while seeing play in Modern.
#9 Young Pyromancer
Are you a fan of casting instant and sorceries? If so, you need to find space in your deck for this red creature.
Young Pyromancer makes all of your instants and sorceries create 1/1 friendly Elementals. If you build your deck correctly, you can get an army of them very quickly. Use the first ones to block if needed, but when you have enough of them – turn them sideways and attack.
It’s a fairly cheap uncommon, especially once you compare it to his mythic cousin Monastery Mentor which is around 15 times more expensive.
#8 Llanowar Elves
The last creature in our best cheap MTG cards list are Llanowar Elves. They do the best imitation of Mox Emerald for only a couple of dimes.
Over the years, there have been plenty of Llanowar Elves variations, such as:
Each time they are reprinted in Standard, they immediately become staples in every green deck. It’s true that the card isn’t Noble Hierarch, however, it isn’t 400 times worse, as the price difference would suggest.
#7 Faithless Looting
Faithless Looting is one of those cards that isn’t broken on its own, but enables a lot of broken stuff.
You can put Faithless Looting in your deck as some kind of insurance against flood, but it won’t be very powerful. You really want to be doing stuff with your graveyard, at least playing some delve cards. Once you can take advantage from your graveyard, Faithless Looting starts to over-preform.
#6 Hymn to Tourach
Mind Rot is unplayable. Hymn to Tourach, on the other hand, is broken. First, it costs one mana less. Second, your opponent doesn’t get to choose which cards to discard.
Imagine playing this card on turn two and your opponent discards two lands. They will now probably be mana screwed. If they discarded non-land cards, that’s good as well. You did get your two-for-one, after all.
Card is not legal in formats like Modern and Pioneer, and is therefore pretty cheap. You can get one on Amazon.
#5 Treasure Cruise
Second card with delve on our list is even more broken than the first one. It is currently banned in Pauper, Modern and Legacy. It’s also restricted (only one copy allowed) in Vintage, most powerful format of all.
As we said before, the delve mechanic is very easy to abuse. You don’t even have to work that hard to cast it for 2-4 mana, at which point, drawing three is still powerful. Just put a copy or two in every blue deck, even if it just plays regular games of Magic. If you want access to a full playset, you’ll want some amount of cheap cards like Opt, Thought Scour, etc.
#4 Dark Ritual
You know why Black Lotus and the Moxen are so powerful? Because they allow you to “cheat” on mana. Dark Ritual does the same, although on a bit lower power level.
The card enables some pretty busted things. For example, you can try this old school combo:
- Turn 1: Play any creature. Let’s say Tormented Soul, so it can’t be blocked.
- Turn 2: Play Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual. Cast Hatred on Tormented Soul, pay 19 life and kill your opponent.
Or you can just cast your powerful black cards two turns earlier, that’s fine too. This is one of the cards that rose in price since we originally made this list, but it’s still a great deal cheaper than a Mox Jet
#3 Sword to Plowshares
The only white card among the best 10 cheap MTG cards is the most efficient removal spell of all time. Sure, your opponent will gain some life, but you only spent a single white mana to do so and you got to exile it. No death triggers, no coming back from the graveyard.
This is another card that rose in price recently. However, since it’s not legal in formats like Modern and Pioneer, it’s still reasonably priced.
The ultimate answer to pretty much anything, for only two mana. Nowadays, we call all cards with this effect counterspells, but this is the original one (all the way from Alpha). We got plenty of similar effects recently:
However, all of them either cost three mana or come with restrictions. That’s why Counterspell is so strong, that players hate playing against two untapped Islands. It’s been reprinted a bunch of times, so you can get them for a fair price and in different art variations.
Finally, we reach our number one card from the best cheap MTG cards – Brainstorm. It’s the most played card in Legacy which offers you a ton of options for just one mana.
We could easily write a whole article about Brainstorm, but for now, here are some tricks you can do with it:
- You put two cards you don’t need on top of your library. Then you use a shuffle effect, like Evolving Wilds to get rid of them.
- Your opponent plays Thoughtseize. In response, you cast Brainstorm and “hide” your best cards on the top of your deck.
- Sometimes you care about the top card of your deck with cards like Delver of Secrets or Vampire Nocturnus. You can set up the exact card you want there with Brainstorm.
These are just some of the things you can do with Brainstorm. But it provides such a good effect, and it doesn’t cost too much – that’s why it deserves the first place on our list.
Best Cheap MTG Cards – Your Choices
There are so many powerful cheap cards in Magic the Gathering that we certainly couldn’t include all of them in our Top 10 list. Which one do you think should also be on it – at least in consideration? Tell us in comments below.
Until next time, may you find plenty of powerful cheap Magic cards.