Top 10 Sorceries in Magic: The Gathering

Updated on September 1, 2018
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

Sorcery Spells

As any mage worth their Lightning Bolt knows, collectible card game Magic: The Gathering employs several different types of cards, one of the fiercest being sorceries. Unlike "permanents," such as creatures or enchantments, sorceries hit the battlefield, apply their effect, and then disappear—but their results are devastating. From demolishing enchantments and artifacts to massacring creatures or refilling the hand, these one-offs can easily turn the tide of a match. Here are ten of Magic's ultimate sorceries!

To be clear, we're gauging them by their impact alone (not by value compared to mana cost), and, of course, remember different sorceries work better in different deck builds.

In Garruks' Wake
In Garruks' Wake

10. In Garruk's Wake

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 9
Color: Black

Summary: This dark spell destroys all creatures and planeswalkers you don't control, leaving your allies unscathed! The effect works particularly well in multiplayer, where several opponents will have their precious units destroyed in one fell swoop.

Though it won't work on indestructible creatures, In Garruk's Wake massacres most foes, bypasses hex and shroud (because it doesn't target), and is one of few cards to topple planeswalkers.

Primal Surge
Primal Surge

9. Primal Surge

CMC: 10
Color: Green

Summary: Here's one that definitely requires the right deck. Primal Surge essentially allows you to draw and cast permanents for free until you reach a non-permanent. So, simply make Surge the only non-permanent in your deck, and you can place your entire arsenal on the field (be sure to include some eldrazi), ready to overwhelm your opponents.

As a bonus, you can stop the process whenever you wish—savvy players may leave a few cards in their library to guard against an empty-deck loss.

Cruel Ultimatum
Cruel Ultimatum

8. Cruel Ultimatum

CMC: 7
Colors: Blue, Black, Red

Summary: A tri-colored spell that can stand among sorceries with higher mana costs, Cruel Ultimatum assaults an opponent with a variety of nasty effects while boosting your forces. Your opponent sacrifices a creature, discards three cards, and loses five live; you return a creature from your graveyard to your hand, draw three cards, and gain five life.

What else can I say? In one card, you get a removal, card advantage, direct damage, and life gain. Superb for any situation, Ultimatum functions especially well in one-on-one matches.

Blatant Thievery
Blatant Thievery

7. Blatant Thievery

CMC: 7
Color: Blue

Summary: Another impressive card considering its relatively-low mana requirements, Blatant Thievery essentially steals a permanent from each opponent. This means you get a removal and a new force in one for every person you're playing against! Be sure to pilfer their strongest creatures, planeswalkers, and enchantments.

An excellent multiplayer spell, Thievery will make your opponents regret playing their strongest cards, but remember the effect cannot impact units immune to targeting.

Coalition Victory
Coalition Victory

6. Coalition Victory

CMC: 8
Color: White, Blue, Black, Red, Green

Summary: Banned in some formats (commander) for its fearsome effect, Coalition Victory simply grants an automatic victory if you control corresponding creatures and lands for each of the five colors. The nice thing is that cards with multiple colors meet the requirements for each color they possess, meaning you can win with only a handful of spells!

Be sure to wield multi-typed lands and multi-colored creatures, and Victory easily provides, well, victory.

All Is Dust
All Is Dust

5. All Is Dust

CMC: 7
Color: Colorless

Summary: A rare colorless sorcery, All Is Dust belongs in every colorless deck. Its effect makes every player (including you) sacrifice all colored spells they control—so make a colorless deck! Your Eldrazi, artifact creatures, and other forces will be untouched, while opponents must forfeit their precious repertoire.

Most permanents, barring lands and artifacts, will include at least one color; sit back and laugh as everyone else watches their creatures, enchantments, and planeswalkers turn to dust.

Curse of the Cabal
Curse of the Cabal

4. Curse of the Cabal

CMC: 10
Color: Black

Summary: Unlike Dust, Curse of the Cabal doesn't impact you, providing more deck accessibility. It employs a similar effect: a target opponent must sacrifice half of their permanents! They choose which are lost, but because all permanents are tallied (not just colored ones), lands and artifacts will count towards the total, and they'll likely be left with mere shreds of their former arsenal.

As a bonus, Cabal allows a cheaper suspend option where the effect will take place a few turns later rather than immediately. Speaking of cheap, grab your own copy while it remains in under $6 (older cards tend to gradually increase in price).

Clone Legion
Clone Legion

3. Clone Legion

CMC: 9
Color: Blue

Summary: Clone Legion targets any player (possibly yourself) and gives you a token for each creature that player controls. Use it to duplicate your adversary's entire team, or double your own army instead (keep in mind the legend rule to avoid having to sacrifice a cloned legendary creature)!

While copying an entire squad is undoubtedly impressive, remember that creatures without haste won't be able to attack or tap until their summoning sickness ends on your next turn.

Time Stretch
Time Stretch

2. Time Stretch

CMC: 10
Color: Blue

Summary: A card feared for good reason, Time Stretch simply gives you two bonus turns. Try and understand how potent this is. Before your opponent can act, you're getting more draws, more lands to play, more chances to whittle down suspended cards, more attacks, more taps, et cetera.

Robbing foes of their chances to act will almost undoubtedly seize the victory. They can't win if they can't play!


1. Expropriate

CMC: 9
Color: Blue

Summary: The number one sorcery functions similarly to Time Stretch, though it enjoys a few extra advantages. Expropriate costs one less mana, provides different options, and works better in multiplayer. The only disadvantage is that the card exiles itself after use, preventing a graveyard recovery, but you shouldn't need one if you pull this effect off.

Each player (including you) must vote for either "time" or "money". Every time vote grants you an extra turn; every money vote lets you snatch a permanent from that voter. This amazing effect gives you extra turns and/or stolen cards—of your choice! While already monstrous in one-on-one, good luck to anyone who faces this down in multiplayer or team matches.

Which sorcery do you prefer?

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Your Vote

With that, we see how powerful blue sorceries, which control time, can be. Nonetheless, the game contains hundreds of potent spells to choose from; keep tweaking your decks until you find the right hexes for you. Magic's popularity increases with each expansion it releases, and I look forward to examining future sorceries of undoubtedly daunting power.

But for now, vote for your favorite sorcery and I'll see you at our next MTG trading card countdown!

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Jeremy Gill


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      • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeremy Gill 

        15 months ago from Louisiana


        Both good cards, especially Time Walk. I'm a sucker for extra turns.

      • profile image

        15 months ago

        How about Time walk and Timetwister


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