Top 10 Instant Charms in Magic: The Gathering

Updated on October 8, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

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

What Are Charm Instants in Magic?

In Magic, the "Charms" are a series of instant-speed spells that let you choose between three abilities, adapting to fit your current situation. Many are multi-colored, requiring specific pairings, but their speedy and variable effects make them great additions to any deck.

10 Best Charms

But with dozens of multi-option spells available, which units reign supreme? These are the ten best Charms in Magic: The Gathering!

  • Selesnya Charm
  • Evolution Charm
  • Midnight Charm
  • Seedling Charm
  • Hearth Charm
  • Piracy Charm
  • Funeral Charm
  • Ebony Charm
  • Emerald Charm
  • Vision Charm

Selesnya Charm
Selesnya Charm

10. Selesnya Charm

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 2

Blending green with white yields this impressive duo, letting you choose between these traits:

  • Target creature gains +2/+2 and trample until end of turn
  • Exile target creature with at least five power
  • Create a 2/2 white knight token with vigilance

With such a great spread of abilities, there's no obvious highlight here. The first buffs a unit and lets them pierce through blockers; the second offers a great removal that prevents graveyard recoveries; and the third gives an instant 2/2 vigilance token, all handy effects.

Evolution Charm
Evolution Charm

9. Evolution Charm

CMC: 2

While most Charms are multi-colored, we'll see that many of the best belong to a single faction, making them a bit easier to access. Here's what Evolution lets you choose from:

  • Add a basic land from your deck to your hand
  • Add a creature from your graveyard to your hand
  • Target creature gains flying until end of turn

Again, no one option is a clear winner, with all being nice effects. Each option could be attained for one mana with "Lay of the Land," "Raise Dead," and "Jump," but Evolution grants instant speed and the ability to choose, more than worth that one extra mana.

Midnight Charm
Midnight Charm

8. Midnight Charm

CMC: 1

The rest of today's Charms only need one mana, making them incredibly cheap yet variable quick-play spells. Midnight offers the following choices:

  • Deal one damage to a creature and you gain one life
  • Target creature gains first strike until end of turn
  • Tap target creature

Yet again, these are all nice traits with no clear standout. Dealing a damage can finish off weakened units while slightly replenishing your life; first strike makes a great addition to black's numerous deathtouch units (insta-killing foes before they can counterattack); and tapping a creature shuts down a threat for a turn.

Seedling Charm
Seedling Charm

7. Seedling Charm

CMC: 1

Green offers several of the best Charms, with Seedling being no exception, letting you pick between:

  • Return target aura to its owner's hand
  • Regenerate target green creature
  • Target creature gains trample until end of turn

All are nice, especially the first two; bouncing an aura can drastically weaken a unit (perfect for killing them once they've committed to an attack), while an instant-speed regeneration can save one of your aces from a would-be deathblow.

Hearth Charm
Hearth Charm

6. Hearth Charm

CMC: 1

Yet another single-cost instant, Hearth offers three aggressive effects to select from:

  • Destroy target artifact creature
  • Attacking creatures gain +1/+0 until end of turn
  • Target creature with power two or less is unblockable this turn

This is another tough choice, with each option being useful in different situations. The first offers a fast and cheap counter for artifact creatures, which most decks have at least some of (since they're generally colorless and fit in any theme). Alternatively, you can +1/+0 your entire army for the turn, useful if you've swarmed goblins or other tokens, and unblockable works great for units that need to land direct combat damage (like "Grenzo, Havoc Raiser").

Piracy Charm
Piracy Charm

5. Piracy Charm

CMC: 1

Blue receives three terrific effects with Piracy Charm, letting you select between:

  • Target creature gains islandwalk until end of turn
  • Target creature gains +2/-1 until end of turn
  • Target player discards a card

Islandwalk is helpful yet situational, making a creature unblockable to a player who controls an island land. But even against non-blue decks, you can use +2/-1 to finish off weakened foes, or you can simply force a discard on your opponent.

Weakening creatures and conducting discards is generally seen among the black faction, making these effects an interesting but appreciated addition for blue. In fact, black enjoys nearly the same card with . . .

Funeral Charm
Funeral Charm

4. Funeral Charm

CMC: 1

Funeral offers the exact same effects as Piracy, the only differences being its black coloring and replacement of islandwalk with swampwalk (making a troop unblockable against players with swamp lands).

  • Target creature gains swampwalk until end of turn
  • Target creature gains +2/-1 until end of turn
  • Target player discards a card

Again, these offer many useful benefits, and their overall strategies synergize a bit better with black's theme (which contains several spells that reward discards).

Ebony Charm
Ebony Charm

3. Ebony Charm

CMC: 1

Another black instant, Ebony's impressive spread lets you pick between lifedrain, graveyard punishment, and a blocker-hindering trait:

  • Target opponent loses one life and you gain one life
  • Exile up to three cards from a graveyard
  • Target creature gains fear until end of turn

Option one can save your bacon or finish off an opponent when the game comes down to one life, and option two offers one of the best counters against graveyard-reliant themes (like zombies), ensuring your foe can't gimmick cheap revivals. Option three isn't bad either, as fear lets only black and/or artifact creatures block a unit, often letting them score direct damage that turn.

Emerald Charm
Emerald Charm

2. Emerald Charm

CMC: 1

Emerald provides three awesome traits that are especially useful for green:

  • Untap target creature
  • Destroy target non-aura enchantment
  • Target creature loses flying until end of turn

With green's numerous mana-tappers, you can use option one to gain several resources by untapping a powerhouse like "Karametra's Acolyte." A single-cost enchantment removal is just as nice, and removing flying compensate for green's generally grounded troops, letting you engage aerial units in combat even if you lack creatures with reach.

Vision Charm
Vision Charm

1. Vision Charm

CMC: 1

Despite its situational first effect, Vision remains king with its awe-inspiring latter abilities:

  • Target artifact phases out (essentially it doesn't exist until its next upkeep)
  • Send the top four cards of a player's deck into their graveyard
  • Select a land type to become a basic land type of your choice until the end of the type

Again, the highlights are options two and three, either offering a great mill tactic or a brutal shutdown against single or dual-colored decks; when you morph one land into another, it loses its original type for the turn, blocking access to your opponent's needed colors.

In short, two excellent effects plus occasionally useful artifact phasing make Vision a regular entry in my own blue commander decks, especially since it's remarkably cheap, costing well under a single dollar!

Which card do you prefer?

See results

Multi-Colored Charms in Magic

Today's list highlighted the best mono-colored Charms, but several multi-colored members narrowly missed out; be sure to examine their unique options, blending two or three colors for a variety of powerful effects at slightly higher costs.

Not many spells offer such versatility at such low cost (both in terms of mana and real world money), especially at instant speed, and I highly recommend the Charms to any deck. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of choice-based one-offs, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill

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