Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
How Does Haste Work in Magic?
Most Magic creatures are affected by "summoning sickness," meaning they can't tap or attack until your next turn after arrival. However, some units possess the handy haste trait, which lets them act immediately.
But even troops without haste can gain the trait through appropriate auras, equipments, and other boosts. Yet with dozens of options available, not all haste-bestowers are created equal; which spells reign supreme? These are the ten best cards to give your creatures haste in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Cartouche of Zeal/Hammerhand
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 1
Both of these cards are one-cost auras that boost a creature by +1/+1 and grant it haste. Additionally, when they enter the field, you can prevent a target creature from blocking that turn, a great way to bypass looming threats and land direct damage.
Basically, you're getting three upgrades in one, and the spells help trigger any heroic or prowess abilities you control. Plus, when using Zeal, its added cartouche subtype grants a few extra synergies.
9. Samut, Voice of Dissent
Thanks to her text, Samut's color identity actually includes red, green, and white, so be sure to only use her in corresponding commander decks. However, she's more than worth the effort; while her stats are a meager 3/4, she has flash, haste, vigilance, and the rare double strike trait, letting her hit twice with each attack.
Additionally, she automatically grants your other allies haste, readying your entire army, and she can tap and spend a white mana to untap another creature, useful for refreshing mana-tappers or preparing blockers.
8. Dragon Breath
With its slew of abilities, Dragon Breath's an inexpensive aura that scales well even in the late-game. For two mana, your recipient gains haste, and you can spend a red mana at any time to boost their strength by +1/+0 for the turn. If you form an infinite mana combo, this can be a game-winning effect that grants unlimited power.
Additionally, whenever a creature with CMC six or more enters the field, you can attach Dragon Breath (for free) from your graveyard to them, letting your late-game titans swing immediately. This easy revival also makes Dragon Breath a great candidate for a forced discard or mill effect.
7. Urabrask the Hidden
Praetors generally rank among the strongest monstrosities in Magic, and Urabrask is no exception. For five, you get a 4/4 who provides your entire team (including himself) haste, another great battalion-wide boost.
Additionally, he forces opposing creatures to enter the field tapped. Not only does this stop them from blocking, it also prevents any who had haste from swinging; all the speed in the world won't allow a tapped unit to strike.
6. Clout of the Dominus
This inexpensive and versatile aura adeptly boosts any red/blue deck. First, its unique symbol accepts either red or blue mana, ensuring you're not land-locked out of it. Then, it its target is blue, they get +1/+1 and shroud (preventing them from being targeted by other effects), and if they're red, they get +1/+1 and haste.
But if they're both colors, they receive both benefits, meaning you can obtain +2/+2, shroud, and haste for a single mana. Just note you won't be able to use additional heroic abilities (which reward you for targeting creatures) once you have shroud.
5. Concordant Crossroads
This simple "world" enchantment grants all creatures haste. Sure, it's benefiting your opponents as much as you, but you're likely wielding a creature-focused deck, and they may or may not be, meaning you'll hopefully have more to gain.
This can also be a helpful defense in multiplayer, as opponents may wish to target other rivals (who aren't boosting them) before attacking you.
Though he has haste, Anger's pretty frail at just 2/2, but that's okay—you want him in your graveyard. Get him there by purposefully blocking a stronger monster, or using one of red's many discard spells. Either way, as long as Anger lurks in your graveyard and you control at least one mountain land, all creatures you control gain haste.
This offers another great army-wide boost, and since it activates from the graveyard, your opponent can't remove it unless they have a rare graveyard-exile spell handy.
3. Instill Energy
This aura's text is a bit misleading, as its recipient only receives haste for the purposes of attacking; it can't use the haste to tap. Still, it makes little difference to aggressive creatures, and you also gain the ability to untap your unit once during each of your turns.
Thus, for attackers, you've basically got haste and vigilance in one, and for big mana-tappers like "Karametra's Acolyte", you can obtain twice the resources. I use this ace in many of my own green commander decks, especially since it's surprisingly cheap, costing just a single dollar!
2. Swiftfoot Boots
CMC: 2 (1 to equip)
One of the best equipment spells in the game, Swiftfoot Boots needs just two mana to cast and one whenever you attach it. Once donned, they grants both haste and hexproof, preventing opponents from targeting your creature with spells or effects. It's as simple as that; use these stylish cleats to hasten and protect your allies.
1. Lightning Greaves
CMC: 2 (0 to equip)
Lightning Greaves functions exactly like Swiftfoot Boots except it downgrades hexproof to shroud (meaning you can't target the creature either), but reduces the equip cost to zero.
Generally, this a prime deal, especially since you can simply shift Greaves onto another creature if you want to direct a spell at it. And since haste is only useful on the turn a troop arrives, it's nice when auras or equipment can reattach to newer units; you'll find none cheaper than this competitive artifact.
Using Haste in Commander Format
Immediate attacks or taps are already tempting, more so when they trigger bonus effects. For instance, try granting commanders like "Kaalia of the Vast" and "Zur the Enchanter" haste to swiftly activate their upon-attacking abilities and resolve their abilities that much faster.
Innate haste is rare outside red, making anything that bestows it a useful ace up your sleeve. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of speed-giving upgrades, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill
Ewok on July 19, 2020:
What about DL kolaghan, she’s pretty good 2