Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
How Does Flash Work in Magic?
No, silly, we're not reviewing index cards today. Rather, you can cast Magic's flash cards on any phase of any turn, just like an instant. These help emphasize other card types without restricting you to main phase-only plays, and you'll find them in every faction, especially green, blue, and white.
Today we'll examine both cards with flash and ones that grant the trait to other spells—which reign supreme? These are the 30 best flash cards in Magic: The Gathering!
30. Yeva, Nature's Herald
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4
Yeva's a versatile unit with a bit of everything. She herself has flash, and she grants flash to your other green creatures, letting you safely cast units at the end of opposing turns. Throw in powerful 4/4 stats plus elf and shaman subtypes for a well-rounded creature support.
29. Winding Canyons
Like a basic "Wastes" land, Canyons can simply tap for one colorless mana. But it can also spend two mana and tap to let you cast creatures as though they had flash during the turn, a handy bonus whenever you have a few extra resources.
28. Frilled Mystic
Mystic specifically needs two mana from each Simic color, but acts like a counterspell, entering with flash and negating a spell upon arrival. She's also got decent 3/2 stats plus elf and wizard subtypes (plus lizard for good measure), blending with the most abundant green and blue tribes.
A staple in my own Simic decks, Mystic is also much cheaper than many of today's spells, costing less than a single dollar!
27. Mystic Snake
Snake offers a solid alternative to Frilled Mystic, similarly countering a spell upon arrival. This time, he's only got 2/2 stats and the snake subtype, but one of his mana slots is colorless, helping ensure you're not color-locked out of him.
26. Fleetfoot Panther
Cast Panther whenever an opponent targets one of your creatures with a negative effect; upon arrival, Panther returns a green or white creature you control to your hand, saving them from death. And once out, you've got an impressive 3/4 with cat synergy, making Panther a handy shield/beatstick duo.
CMC: 6 (3 to equip)
Embercleave looks expensive at six mana, but its cost is reduced by one colorless per attacker you control, potentially discounting it down to two red. And when it arrives, you get a single free equip, auto-attaching to one of your creatures.
The recipient gains +1/+1, trample, and double-strike, three tempting boosts that stack well. And remember that you can cast Embercleave at instant speed; use it to kill an unsuspecting creature once your opponent has declared blockers.
24. Stunt Double
Stunt Double provides two useful upgrades on blue's standard creature-copying "Clone" spell. Comparatively, Double only needs one blue mana, fitting better in multicolor decks, and it has flash, letting you hold off on copying until you see what your opponent casts during their turn.
Cloudthresher's numerous symbols make him a bit unwieldy outside mono-green, but they do empower green devotion while leaving a little leeway for other colors. More than that, he's an impressive 6/6 with flash, reach (can block flyers), and elemental synergy.
Additionally, when Cloudthresher enters the field, he deals two damage to each flying creature and each player, and you can evoke him for four mana to gain this effect then sacrifice him, providing an adaptable anti-air countermeasure.
22. Venser, Shaper Savant
Venser offers a versatile defense that can thwart nearly anything. While his stats are only 2/2, he has flash, the wizard subtype, and bounces a spell or a permanent to hand upon arrival. So, you've got a pseudo-counterspell or stall tactic on top of a 2/2 body, and one of few spells that can even bounce lands.
21. Samut, Voice of Dissent
Samut only needs red and green mana, but commander players should note her last effect makes her overall color identity green/red/white. Either way, her seemingly-mediocre 3/4 stats are more than made up for with flash, vigilance, haste, and double strike!
As if that weren't enough, Samut also grants your other creatures haste and can spend one white mana while tapping to untap another creature, giving you a surprise blocker or refreshing another tap ability.
20. Draining Whelk
Whelk's another counterspell disguised as a creature. He's got flash, flying, thwarts a spell on arrival, and gains X +1/+1 counters where X is that spell's total cost, quickly bolstering his base 1/1 stats.
19. Scryb Ranger
Even for her cheap price, Ranger has puny 1/1 stats, but she wields flash, flying, protection from blue, and faerie synergy. Additionally, once per turn (including opposing turns), she can return a forest you control to your hand to untap any creature, an excellent way to double the ramping from mana-tapping creatures like "Karametra's Acolyte".
You can also use this to save a forest that's targeted with a removal.
18. Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Essentially blue's version of Yeva, Teferi gives your creatures flash, but costs one more mana and has slightly lower 3/4 stats. However, not only does he have flash and the helpful wizard subtype, he prevents foes from casting spells except when they could cast a sorcery, generally restricting them to their main phases.
So, you'll be casting creatures of any color whenever you want while foes will be restricted to their main phases. And Teferi also offers a useful planeswalker form...
17. Teferi, Time Raveler
Admittedly, Time Raveler doesn't have flash himself, so you have to cast him on a main phase. But he arrives with a surprising amount of loyalty (four) considering his low cost, and his passive effect restricts foes to casting spells at sorcery speed.
Teferi's +1 lets you cast sorceries at instant speed until your next turn, essentially providing continuous instances of "Quicken", and his -3 returns a creature, artifact, or enchantment to hand while drawing you a card.
16. Prophet of Kruphix
One of few cards banned in commander format, Kruphix offers two amazing benefits in addition to wizard synergy. She lets you cast creatures as though they had flash and untaps all lands and creatures (including herself) you control during opposing upkeeps, ensuring you have enough mana to utilize your instant-speed spells.
Kruphix's only downsides are her lackluster 2/3 stats and the fact that she herself lacks flash, meaning you'll have to cast her on a main phase and she technically fails the "Bolt" test.
15. Vine Dryad
Often underestimated at a glance, you can avoid Dryad's mana cost by exiling a green spell from your hand. From there, you've got a decent 1/3 with both flash and forestwalk, becoming unblockable against foes who control a forest land.
14. Vedalken Orrery
Orrery itself doesn't have flash, but once out, it provides the trait to all your spells, no restrictions on card type or color. With this, your entire deck gains instant speed.
13. Notion Thief
Despite disappointing 3/1 stats and subtypes. Notion Thief ensnares foes with a devastating effect, preventing them from drawing outside their standard draw during their upkeep. Plus, whenever you thwart a draw this way, you get to draw, denying foes card advantage while gaining some yourself.
12. Restoration Angel
One of the game's best "flicker" spells, Restoration Angel offers a 3/4 with flying, flash, and the angel subtype. But her effect actually requires a non-angel, exiling and returning to the field upon arrival. This saves an ally in a similar fashion to Fleetfoot Panther, but now you only need one color and don't have to spend mana recasting the unit.
11. Vendilion Clique
Clique has some of the best subtypes in the game, pairing faerie with wizard. Plus, she's got flash, flying, decent 3/1 stats, and the ability to look at your opponent's hand on arrival, exile a non-land from it, then have them draw a card.
Since your target gets to draw, their overall hand size won't change (unless you've got something like "Notion Thief" out), but this removes a looming threat while revealing your opponent's upcoming plays.
10. Leyline of Anticipation
Anticipation is basically the enchantment version of Orrery, offering your other spells flash (though it doesn't have the trait itself). And if you draw Anticipation in your opening hand, you can reveal it to place it onto the field for free, starting the game with a huge advantage in place.
9. Archangel Avacyn/Avacyn, the Purifier
While she requires several mana, Avacyn brandishes 4/4 stats plus flash, flying, vigilance, and angel synergy. Additionally, when she enters the field, all your creatures (including Avacyn) gian indestructible for the turn, staving off a field wipe or fortifying your team during combat.
From there, when a non-angel you control dies, Avacyn transforms into her Purifier form, losing vigilance but growing in size to 6/5 and dealing three damage to all other creatures and opponents on arrival.
8. Twilight's Call
Twilight's Call only has flash if you spend an extra two mana, requiring a whopping eight when played this way. But no matter how you cast it, Call returns all creatures from all graveyards to the field! Sure, this can potentially help opponents, but you'll obtain much more if you've been diligently self-milling (dredge cards will do the job).
7. Surrak Dragonclaw
Blend the three elemental colors for this legendary who can't be countered, and has flash plus terrific 6/6 stats. Additionally, he prevents your other creatures from being countered and grants them trample, making him a prime support, especially in warrior tribes.
6. Ice-Fang Coatl
Coatl offers a green/blue alternative to black/blue's infamous "Baleful Strix". While weak at 1/1, Coatl wields flash, flying, and both snake and snow synergy. He also draws a card on arrival, and as long as you control at least three other snow permanents, he gains deathtouch, heavily discouraging opponents from attacking.
5. Scion of Oona
Despite low stats, Oona only needs one mana, has the useful faerie subtype, pairs flying with flash, and grants your other faeries shroud and +1/+1, preventing all players from targeting them. This makes Oona a versatile surprise tactic; either cast her in response to a removal to shield a faerie, or during battle to boost stats once combatants are locked.
4. Sigarda's Aid
While Aid itself doesn't have flash, it's easily one of Magic's best enchantments, only needing one mana. Once out, Aid lets you cast auras and equipment with flash, a prime benefit to creature-boosting white decks. Additionally, whenever an equipment enters your field, you can attach it to a creature for free, skillfully avoiding the initial equip fee.
Aluren's ongoing effect lets all players cast creatures of cost three or less for free and as though they had flash. Again, this can potentially assist rivals, but it creates formidable near-infinite combos when paired with cards like "Garruk's Horde" that let you play creatures from your deck.
2. Spellstutter Sprite
Another tempting faerie-wizard, Sprite has weak 1/1 stats but compensates with flash and flying. Better yet, when she enters the field, she counters a spell unless its controller pays X, where X is the number of faeries you control. Even by herself, this can fizzle a spell an opponent spent all their mana on, and it only gets easier when stacked with other faeries.
What this terribly-worded enchantment basically says is that you revive a creature from any graveyard and attach Necromancy to it as an aura. Not only is this an amazingly cheap creature revival, it's one that has flash speed. The only downside is that you have to sacrifice the creature if Necromancy leaves play, but that's a negligible trade-off for such a cheap and powerful effect.
Other Instant-Speed Spells in Magic
One of Magic's most popular keywords, you'll find several competitive flash spells even outside today's list, and there's always standard instants to consider.
Flash cards offer quick effects for decks that don't want instants/sorceries (for example, they avoid ruining a "Primal Surge"), but for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of interrupting spells, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill