Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Using Rainbow Decks in Magic
Magic decks that employ all five colors are called "rainbow" builds. Since they harness each faction, they can access any card. However, they run the risk of drawing the wrong land types.
Still, when luck favors you, they're dangerously unpredictable, and you can mitigate the land risk with the right supports. But which spells should supplement your all-encompassing strategy? These are the ten best cards for your rainbow deck in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Crystalline Crawler
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4
Ironically, many of the best supports for all-color decks are colorless, since they don't care what types of mana you spend on them. But it's still best to diversify; Crawler here gains a +1/+1 counter for each color of mana spent on him, potentially arriving as a fierce 5/5!
But don't despair even with redundant lands, as Crawler can tap to gain a +1/+1 counter. These not only boost his power, you can forfeit one to gain a mana of any type for each spent counter. In short, Crawler helps in both combat and mana versatility, providing any colors you still lack.
9. Conqueror's Flail
CMC: 2 (2 to equip)
This equipment only takes two mana to cast and two more whenever you attach it to a creature. It will accept any mana types. The equipped unit receives +1/+1 for each color among permanents you control, potentially gaining a whopping 5/5 boost! Use this to drastically reinforce your rainbow commander and make a commander damage win more than viable.
As icing on the cake, Flail (while attached to a creature) prevents opponents from casting spells during your turn, making it one of the best anti-counterspell shields available.
8. Spirit of Resistance
Spirit of Resistance only needs a small dose of white, accepting any other colors for the rest of its cost. Once cast, this enchantment prevents all damage you would take while you control a permanent of each color!
Resistance itself checks off white, and since multi-color cards count for each of their hues, you become nearly invincible with a rainbow commander active. You're even protected against self-sustained injuries and infect strategies; just remember you can still lose to a mill theme via deck-out.
7. Clearwater Goblet
Goblet's sunburst provides it with a charge counter for each color spent casting it, potentially five with a full color array. For each one it has, you simply gain a life during your upkeep, quickly totaling massive amounts in extended games.
EDH players should remember they can still lose to commander damage, but that's still some impressive lifegain, and since the effect is optional, you can decline in the rare cases you'd want to. Be sure to proliferate the charge counters with generals like "Atraxa, Praetors' Voice" to further boost your reservoir.
6. Glittering Wish
Before exiling itself, this sorcery adds any multi-colored spell you own from outside the game to your hand—a powerful tutor that adapts to your situation.
In casual play, "outside the game" means you can nab anything. In sanctioned events, you can only choose a card from your sideboard, but that's still a versatile choice that searches what you need. Wish's only failing is its specific mana requirements, which might prevent rainbow players from casting it until drawing appropriate lands. Still, you can mitigate the issue with supports like...
5. Ramos, Dragon Engine
Ramp and beatstick in one, this legendary counts as both an artifact and a creature, qualifying for supports of either type. More than that, he accepts any mana, has flying, and gains a +1/+1 counter for each color in other spells you cast.
This lets a single rainbow spell turn his mediocre 4/4 stats into a dominating 9/9, and the effect can trigger multiple times each turn. Plus, Ramos can remove five +1/+1 counters to add two mana of each color, giving a total of ten resources! That's an insane pool that can be activated instantly (even in response to a removal) and grants the exact mana needed to summon the infamous "Progenitus."
4. Chromatic Lantern
Another colorless artifact, Chromatic Lantern can tap for any mana type, substituting for whatever colors you lack. And since it can tap as soon as it arrives, you'll essentially regain one of the mana spent casting it.
Plus, Lantern lets your lands tap for whatever colors you like, guaranteeing you're never without a needed hue. This also adds mana potential to abnormal lands that don't normally produce it (like "Maze of Ith").
3. Pentad Prism
Deceptively simple, Prism enters with as many charge counters as colors spent casting it. Since it only costs two mana, it'll usually max at two, and you can remove one at any time to add any mana type.
This fills in mana gaps and lets you cast big spells earlier in your match. And even once its counters are spent, Prism remains fielded, helpfully empowering your artifact-based spells. You can also mold it into a continuous mana factory by proliferating its counters with Atraxa. Best of all, Prism's inexpensive price makes it a staple in my own builds and must-have for any rainbow theme, costing well under a single dollar!
2. Dragon Arch
Dragon Arch requires a hefty sum of five mana, but once out, it only needs two more to tap and use its effect, which simply plays a multicolor creature from your hand (without needing to pay its cost).
That's right; you can gimmick cards that cost nine or more mana for a fraction of the price (try it on "Progenitus," "The Ur-Dragon," and "Zacama, Primal Calamity"). This also avoids needing specific colors, useful if you haven't yet drawn all mana types. Arch's only failing is its inability to play commanders from the command zone, but it's still an amazing way to gimmick behemoths into the arena.
1. Bloom Tender/Faeburrow Elder
Bloom Tender is a weak 1/1, but she has the useful elf subtype. Elder gets +1/+1 for each color among permanents you control (at least 2/2 counting its own) and has vigilance plus the treefolk and druid subtypes.
But more than that, Tender and Elder both tap for one mana per color among permanents you control. At minimum, this means Tender taps for one green and Elder for a green and white, but at max, they'll tap for a whopping five colored mana!
Picking a Rainbow Commander in Magic
Today's spells offer powerful supports for all-color decks, but in EDH format, you'll also need to choose a commander. Some of the best rainbow leaders include dragon-centered "Scion of the Ur-Dragon," sliver-focused "Sliver Overlord," and elemental-based "Horde of Notions."
Alongside lands that can tap for multiple colors, today's spells have you well on your way to a rainbow victory. But for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of color-boosting supports, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill