Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
What Are Oath Enchantments in Magic?
Today we'll examine Magic's set of Oath enchantments, powerful spells that offer an immediate benefit plus an ongoing bonus, making them versatile tools that buff both your short and long-term game.
We're strictly discussing the planeswalker-based Oaths; cards like "Oath of Druids" and "Warrior's Oath" (impressive though they are) won't appear. So, how can you best support your mystical entities? These are the eight best Oaths in Magic: The Gathering!
8. Oath of Jace
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 3
As great as most of Jace's planeswalker forms are, his Oath doesn't quite live up to his massive reputation. For three mana, it lets you draw three cards, then discard two, meaning you gain a total of one. You can perform a similar but much-cheaper effect with "Brainstorm."
Jace also lets you scry X cards at the beginning of your upkeep, where X is the number of planeswalkers you control. Scrying is nice (letting you peek at your upcoming draws and move them to the bottom of the deck if desired), but not enough to warrant the extra mana needed for Jace's commitment compared to cheaper alternatives.
7. Oath of Gideon
Like its brethren, Oath of Gideon is a legendary enchantment, letting you only field a single copy at once. When it enters the field, you get to create two 1/1 white kor ally creature tokens. While weak, you get two at once, and they bear useful synergies with two different subtypes (allies in particular combo well off each other), making them more useful than you might think.
Beyond that, Gideon has your planeswalkers enter with an additional loyalty, letting them access their best moves faster and survive stronger attacks.
6. Oath of Liliana
Oath of Liliana makes an excellent multiplayer removal, as her entrance forces all opponents to sacrifice a creature while leaving you unscathed. Then, during each end step, Liliana checks whether a planeswalker entered the field under your control that turn, and if one has, you create a 2/2 black zombie creature token.
Similar to Gideon's tokens, these are modest combatants, but they offer useful combos with black's abundant zombie clan, making them great for undead structures.
5. Oath of Kaya
Kaya's Oath requires two colors, meaning you'll need both Orzhov colors to use it. However, it deals three damage to any target, a versatile removal that can hit creatures, planeswalkers, or opponents directly. You also gain three life.
From there, whenever your opponents attack one of your planeswalkers, they suffer two damage, and you gain two life. This can only trigger once per combat phase, but it's a powerful deterrent that discourages foes from swinging at your allies.
4. Oath of Chandra
Like Kaya, Chandra deals three damage with her Oath, although you have to target a creature in this case. Still, you only need one color and can cast this Oath for just two mana.
Then, at each end step, if a planeswalker entered the field under your control, Oath deals two damage to each opponent, rewarding you for fielding your titans and scorching all rivals in multiplayer games.
3. Oath of Teferi
Oath of Teferi is by far the most mana-draining enchantment today, but both its effects offer incredible power. First, when it enters the field, you can exile a card you control, then return it. Why bother, you ask? Well, remember that this lets you reset the loyalty of planeswalkers, or return artifacts like "Mana Vault" and "Grim Monolith" (who don't naturally untap) to their base state without paying their price.
More than that, Teferi lets you now activate two abilities from your planeswalkers each turn, a huge advantage that triggers their best effects much faster.
2. Oath of Nissa
Oath of Nissa works best in multicolor decks, because her ongoing effect lets you spend mana as if it were any color when casting planeswalkers, preventing you from having to draw the right land types.
But even in monocolor builds, Nissa offers an inexpensive search, letting you look at the top three cards of your deck and add a creature, land, or planeswalker from among them to your hand, placing the rest on the bottom of your deck in an order you decide. Both abilities more than justify one mana, granting you a nice first-turn play or outlet for leftover resources.
1. Oath of Ajani
Like Chandra, Ajani's Oath only needs two mana, although you'll have to draw from both the green and white factions. Still, for his low fee, you access two great boons. On entrance, Ajani places a +1/+1 counter on all creatures you control, a great army-wide buff that lets him scale surprisingly well even when played late in the game.
Then, he lets you spend one less colorless mana on your planeswalkers, accessing them for lower CMCs. Whenever I'm using green/white pairings and planeswalkers in commander format, I'm sure to include this Oath for its great supports on two different card types. Fortunately, despite its powers, Ajani is surprisingly affordable, costing well under two dollars!
How to Support Your Planeswalkers in Magic
Powerful though they are, the Oaths aren't your only tools to support planeswalkers. Anything that proliferates, like "Atraxa, Praetors' Voice" can add to your loyalty each turn, and green's infamous "Doubling Season" enchantment has your planeswalkers enter with twice as much loyalty while also granting you double tokens, letting you quickly seize the advantage.
Planeswalkers have proven one of Magic's most popular card types, and I look forward to future sets. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next batch of planeswalker-supporting spells, vote for your favorite Oath, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill