Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Sorcery and Instant Cards in Magic
Most Magic spells are "permanents" that stay fielded until destroyed or otherwise removed. But unlike creatures, artifacts, and other permanents, instants and sorceries immediately head to the graveyard after activation.
Sure, they may not have a lasting field presence, but these cards offer devastating abilities, and you can cast instants on anyone's turn. Plus, many spells (particularly in red and blue) reward you for playing one-offs; which reign supreme? These are the 30 best instant/sorcery supports in Magic: The Gathering!
30. Niv-Mizzet, Parun
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 6
Admittedly, Niv-Mizzet requires several mana and of specific colors, essentially restricting him to red/blue Izzet themes. But in exchange, he provides a 5/5 flying dragon-wizard who can't be countered and deals one damage to any target whenever you draw.
This stacks perfectly with his next effect, which draws you a card whenever any player casts an instant or sorcery, rewarding one-offs with damage and card advantage.
Quicken lets you cast your next sorcery that turn as though it had flash, basically turning a sorcery into an instant. Plus, since Quicken automatically draws a card, your hand won't deplete when casting it, and it's a cheap way to activate instant/sorcery-triggered abilities.
27. The Mirari Conjecture
A unique "saga" enchantment, Conjecture activates its first effect as soon as it arrives, then its next two at the start of your following upkeeps, granting three abilities before sacrificing itself.
First, Mirari returns an instant from your graveyard to your hand, then it returns a sorcery, and finally, it copies any instant or sorcery you cast until the end of the turn. That's a fantastic way to duplicate spells without paying extra mana, and you should have plenty of valid targets thanks to its graveyard retrievals.
26. Dualcaster Mage
Mage offers a 2/2 with the useful wizard subtype, and flash lets you cast him at instant speed. Wait until someone (possibly you) casts an instant or sorcery; when Dualcaster enters the field, he can copy it and choose new targets for free!
It's easier to replicate opposing spells with this effect, but if you have the mana, you're more than welcome to copy your own.
These three spells offer Dualcaster's main ability—copying an instant or sorcery—for one less mana. You don't get a 2/2 bonus this time, but it's still a great way to pilfer expensive spells at a big discount, and thanks to Twincast, both red and blue have access.
29. Split Decision
Like our previous spells, you want to chain Split Decision onto a sorcery or instant, but now, every player will vote for denial or duplication. If denial gets more votes, you counter the spell, but if duplication wins or the vote is tied, you copy it.
Basically, you're either getting "Counterspell" or "Twincast" with the added advantage of a colorless slot, making Decision more compatible in multicolor decks.
24. Dire Fleet Daredevil
When Daredevil enters the field, you get to exile an instant or sorcery from an opposing graveyard. For the rest of the turn, you can cast that card (sending it to exile), and you can spend mana as though it were any color to play it.
But even if you can't afford the spell or your opponents don't have any valid targets, you're still getting a 2/1 pirate with first strike, a fair deal in itself.
23. Finale of Promise
Promise requires two red mana plus X more (of any type). For the rest of the turn, it lets you cast up to one instant and one sorcery with cost X or less from your graveyard into exile—without paying their mana costs!
Use Final as a late-game ace in the hole, especially since casting X as ten or more copies each spell twice, overwhelming foes with six total triggers!
22. Feather, the Redeemed
Mixing things up, here we see a red/white angel designed to complement one-offs that boost your creatures. Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery that targets at least one creature you control, Feather exiles that spell and returns it to your hand at the end of the turn.
This lets you reuse instants and sorceries, offering rare and appreciated Boros card advantage. The effect still works even if Feather leaves the field after exiling a spell, and her 3/4 stats and flying make her a worthy beatstick.
Similar to Quicken, Overmaster empowers a following spell, preventing your turn's next instant or sorcery from being countered. You also get to draw a card, maintaining hand advantage. Note that Overmaster itself can be countered, but few opponents are willing thwart such a cheap play anyway.
20. Goblin Electromancer
Goblin Electromancer has just about everything an Izzet theme could ask for. He's got a low cost, respectable 2/2 stats, and both the goblin and wizard subtypes, synergizing with the biggest blue and red tribes. Better yet, he reduces the cost of your instants and sorceries by one!
Electromancer's abilities make him a staple in my own Izzet themes, especially since he costs well under a single dollar!
19. Charmbreaker Devils
Charmbreaker requires lots of mana, but unlike Niv-Mizzet, he can accept almost any color combinations. His stats begin as a mediocre 4/4, but he gains +4/+0 for the turn whenever you cast an instant or sorcery, quickly providing an enormous beatstick!
Plus, Charmbreaker returns a random instant or sorcery form your graveyard to your hand at the start of your upkeep, a chaotic yet powerful retrieval engine.
Like other split spells, you can cast either half of this two-sided card. Expansion works similarly to Fork; it can only copy an instant or sorcery with cost four or less, but its hybrid mana symbols make it easier to play.
Or, if you have extra resources, cast Explosion, which requires four mana plus X more, dealing X damage to any target and drawing you X cards. Both are worthy effects, and the ability to switch between them makes this a welcome draw at any stage of the game.
17. Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Boseiju admittedly has its disadvantages compared to other lands: it enters tapped, can only provide colorless mana, and requires two life to do so. However, when you spend this mana on an instant or sorcery, that spell can't be countered, an excellent defense against counterspell-focused blue decks.
16. Pyromancer's Goggles
This legendary artifact simply taps for one red mana. You can use this mana for anything, but when spent on a red instant/sorcery, you get to copy the spell for free! Plus, since artifacts can tap immediately, you can use Goggles the turn it arrives.
15. Goblin Dark-Dwellers
Dark-Dwellers arrives as a solid 4/4 with goblin synergy and menace, requiring two or more foes to become blocked. Even better, when he enters the field, you can cast an instant or sorcery with cost three or less from your graveyard into exile for free! You're only able to use this on moderate size spells, but it's basically a free flashback on top of a bulky creature.
14. God-Eternal Kefnet
Arguably the best God-Eternal in the game, Kefnet offers an impressive 4/5 with flying and zombie synergy. Plus, when destroyed or exiled, he can move to your deck's third position from the top, ensuring he's never gone for long.
Better yet, Kefnet can reveal the first card you draw each turn and cast a copy of it for two less mana if it's an instant or sorcery! With this, you can even copy spells when you draw on opposing turns, useful with cards like "Opt".
13. Echo Mage
Echo Mage begins as a simple 2/3 wizard. But you can level him up on a main phase by spending two mana; at levels 2-3, Mage becomes a 2/4 who can copy an instant or sorcery by spending two mana and tapping. At level four (or more), he becomes a 2/5 who now copies one-offs twice with his tap effect!
For even faster copies, run Echo Mage alongside proliferate cards that quickly multiply his level counters.
12. Izzet Guildmage
Izzet's hybrid symbols let you spend either red or blue mana to cast him, and he carries decent 2/2 stats plus wizard synergy. Plus, by spending three mana, Izzet can copy an instant or sorcery you control with price two or less. To make this only cost a single mana, combo with the blue enchantment "Training Grounds", which reduces the price of your creature abilities by two!
11. League Guildmage
Another excellent Guildmage, League offers an updated Izzet: League can spend X mana plus one red to copy an instant or sorcery you control with cost X. This improves on Izzet's effect (except League has to tap), letting you potentially copy spells with higher costs, or duplicates one-cost spells for two mana instead of three.
Plus, League retains Izzet's handy 2/2 stats, wizard subtype, and has the added ability to spend four mana and tap to draw a card, a nice hand-replenishing tool.
10. Jaya Ballard
Jaya enters with an impressive amount of loyalty (five), and unlike most planeswalkers, she has two +1 effects. Her first adds three red mana to your pool; you have to spend them on instants or sorceries, but it's still an excellent ramp. Or, use her second +1 to discard up to three cards, then draw that many.
This sets you up for Jaya's ultimate -8, which gives an emblem that lets you cast instants and sorceries from your graveyard into exile, essentially giving your one-offs flashback!
9. Taigam, Ojutai Master
Mixing blue with white yields this legendary monk. Taigam's first ability prevents your instant, sorcery, and dragon cards from being countered, shielding both one-offs and certain creatures.
Plus, if you cast an instant or sorcery from your hand during a turn where Taigam attacked, that spell gains rebound, essentially letting you cast it again (for free) during your next upkeep!
8. Baral, Chief of Compliance
For his low price, Baral offers a solid 1/3 wizard with not one but two abilities. His first discounts your instants and sorceries by one, similar to Goblin Electromancer. Plus, whenever you counter a spell, Baral lets you draw and discard a card, manipulating your hand while stocking your graveyard.
In short, Baral's a great choice for any instant/sorcery deck, especially counterspell-focused commander themes.
7. Primal Amulet/Primal Wellspring
Like Baral, Amulet reduces the price of your instants and sorceries by one. Admittedly, it requires more mana, but it's colorless and gains a charge counter whenever you cast a one-off.
Once Amulet has four charge counters (remember you can proliferate them), it transforms into the land Primal Wellspring. Not only can Wellspring tap for a mana of any color, it duplicates any instant or sorcery its mana is spent on, offering two spells for the price of one!
6. Snapcaster Mage
Long considered one of blue's best cards, Snapcaster offers a 2/1 wizard with flash. More than that, when he enters the field, he gives an instant or sorcery in your graveyard flashback for the turn, letting you cast it into exile by repaying its cost.
5. Young Pyromancer
Neither of Pyromancer's subtypes are great, and 2/1 stats are only average for his price. But whenever you cast an instant or sorcery, he creates a 1/1 elemental token, ensuring you've always got blocker fodder. Additionally, elementals have gained many useful supports in recent sets, meaning Pyromancer has only gotten better with time.
4. Mystical Tutor/Personal Tutor
Both of these spells only cost a single mana and can move any sorcery to the top of your deck. Not only does this help search needed cards, it's a fantastic way to rig miracle abilities. Mystical Tutor also has the added advantages of being able to search an instant instead of a sorcery and having instant speed itself.
3. Panoptic Mirror
Mirror requires five mana to cast; once out, you can imprint an instant or sorcery from your hand by exiling it and paying its cost; from then on, you can cast a copy of that card at your upkeep for free!
If you imprint extra-turn spells like "Temporal Manipulation", you'll score infinite turns and almost certainly win, and remember Mirror can imprint at instant speed (meaning you can hold off on it until right before your turn starts).
2. Isochron Scepter
Scepter offers a cheaper alternative to Mirror with a similar effect; when it arrives, you can imprint an instant (but not sorcery) from your hand with cost two or less by sending it into exile.
From then on, you can cast a copy of the imprinted card by tapping Scepter and paying two mana, giving you endless activations of whatever cheap spell you want—use Scepter alongside low-cost counterspells for a nasty combo.
1. Mizzix's Mastery
CMC: 4 (8 with overload)
At base price, Mastery exiles an instant or sorcery from your graveyard, then casts a copy of that spell for free! This provides a single-use flashback, and potentially a discounted one at that.
But if overloaded by spending double the mana, Mastery exiles all instants and sorceries from your graveyard, copying each for free! That's an amazing game-winning effect perfect for commander format; just note that Mastery exiles itself no matter how you cast it.
Using Instants and Sorceries in Magic
Instants and sorceries play a key role even in decks that don't emphasize them, often providing removals to eliminate key threats. They also empower cards with "spell mastery", which activate bonus conditions as long as there are at least two total sorcery/instant spells in your graveyard.
Blue and red offer many of the game's strongest sorceries to capitalize on today's tools, but for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of one-off supports, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill