Top 10 Scry Cards in Magic: The Gathering

Updated on April 8, 2020
Jeremy Gill profile image

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

What Is Scrying in Magic?

Maintaining card advantage is an important part of winning Magic games; if your hand dwindles, you'll run out of both lands and spells, making you easy pickings. But you don't just want random draws, you want to nab exactly what you need in a given situation.

To help with this, several cards let you "scry" a certain number of cards. This means you (and only you) look at that many cards from the top of your deck. Not only can you replace them in any order, you can even send as many as you wish to the bottom of your deck, hopefully letting you draw something better. But with hundreds of scrying spells available, which reign supreme? These are the 10 best scry abilities in Magic: The Gathering!

Thassa, God of the Sea mtg
Thassa, God of the Sea mtg

10. Thassa, God of the Sea

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 3

For such a low price, Thassa provides a mighty 5/5 with indestructible, making her fierce in battle. However, she doesn't count as a creature until your devotion to blue hits five; counting her own blue symbol, you'll need four more among your permanents.

But whether she's a creature or still just an enchantment, Thassa automatically scries a card at your upkeep, giving you continuous deck tweaking. She can also spend two mana at any time to make a creature unblockable, a great way to land direct-damage effects.

Sphinx of Foresight mtg
Sphinx of Foresight mtg

9. Sphinx of Foresight

CMC: 4

For four mana, Foresight offers a 4/4 with flying, a surprisingly strong combatant in generally combat-weak blue. Like Thassa, he automatically scries a card at your upkeep, letting you readjust your upcoming draws as needed.

But Foresight also offers a rare opening hand effect, letting you reveal him from your initial cards to scry three at your first upkeep. This helps ensure you don't run out of lands in the game's initial stages.

Harsh Scrutiny mtg
Harsh Scrutiny mtg

8. Harsh Scrutiny

CMC: 1

Blue specializes in scrying, but other factions dabble in it as well. For a single mana, this black sorcery reveals an opponent's hand, lets you discard a creature from it, and has you scry one.

Thus, with just one mana, they're down a card, you have tactical knowledge of their upcoming plays, and you've had a chance to manipulate your next draw.

Augury Owl mtg
Augury Owl mtg

7. Augury Owl

CMC: 2

For two mana, Owl grants a weak 1/1, though he slightly compensates with flying. But he really shines with his entrance effect, automatically scrying three when he enters the field. This helpfully triggers whenever Owl arrives, not just when cast, meaning it'll activate with graveyard arrivals and other entrance gimmicks.

Lifecrafter's Bestiary mtg
Lifecrafter's Bestiary mtg

6. Lifecrafter's Bestiary

CMC: 3

Bestiary accepts any mana for its cost, but its text symbol means your commander has to be partially green to use it in EDH. Like Thassa and Foresight, you get a free scry at each of your upkeeps, and you can now pay an additional green mana whenever you cast a creature to draw a card.

Simply put, these are powerful deck-tinkering and hand-replenishing tools, especially for a non-blue color.

Condescend mtg
Condescend mtg

5. Condescend


One of the best counterspells in the game,Condescend requires one blue mana plus an X value of your choice. You then negate a card unless its owner pays an additional X mana, and you also get to scry twice.

If you wait until your opponent taps all their lands for a big play, you only need X to be one to thwart it, making this as cheap as the classic "Counterspell." Throw in the added scrying benefit and colorless slots and you've got a powerful check against any card type.

Opt mtg
Opt mtg

4. Opt

CMC: 1

This simple instant requires just one mana and both scries and draws a card, skillfullymanipulating your next draw. It also helps activate the reduced prices of surge cards as well as "spell mastery" effects (which rely on having instants and sorceries in the graveyard).

Preordain mtg
Preordain mtg

3. Preordain

CMC: 1

Very similar to Opt, Preordain can only activate at sorcery speed, but it now scries twice and draws a card. Again, a cheap and effective tool to set your upcoming cards and quickly stock your graveyard with a sorcery.

Reason/Believe mtg
Reason/Believe mtg

2. Reason // Believe

CMC: 1/5

One of the best aftermath-split spells, you first play Reason from your hand, then you later cast Believe from your graveyard into exile. Reason simply scries three; you don't gain any draws, but that's a powerful early-game manipulation tool.

This also stacks well with Believe, which needs five mana but reveals the top card of your deck. If it's a creature, you play it for free; if not, you add it to your hand. Hopefully your scrying will set you up for this, rigging the effect to provide a free behemoth.

Reason and Believe adopt one of my favorite commander color pairings (green/blue), making them frequent members of my own builds, and they're surprisingly cheap, costing well under a single dollar!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Temple of Malice mtgTemple of Triumph mtgTemple of Abandon mtgTemple of Epiphany mtgTemple of Silence mtgTemple of Malady mtgTemple of Deceit mtgTemple of Plenty mtgTemple of Enlightenment mtgTemple of Mystery mtg
Temple of Malice mtg
Temple of Malice mtg
Temple of Triumph mtg
Temple of Triumph mtg
Temple of Abandon mtg
Temple of Abandon mtg
Temple of Epiphany mtg
Temple of Epiphany mtg
Temple of Silence mtg
Temple of Silence mtg
Temple of Malady mtg
Temple of Malady mtg
Temple of Deceit mtg
Temple of Deceit mtg
Temple of Plenty mtg
Temple of Plenty mtg
Temple of Enlightenment mtg
Temple of Enlightenment mtg
Temple of Mystery mtg
Temple of Mystery mtg

1. "Temple of" Lands

CMC: 0

Some of the best lands in the game, the temple cards all enter tapped, so you can't access their mana until your next turn. However, not only can each tap for either of two colors (noted below), they all scry one upon entering the field, making them great versatile boons for multi-color decks.

"Temple of ____" Color Combinations:

  • Red and black: Malice
  • Red and white: Triumph
  • Red and green: Abandon
  • Red and blue: Epiphany
  • Black and white: Silence
  • Black and green: Malady
  • Black and blue: Deceit
  • White and green: Plenty
  • White and blue: Enlightenment
  • Green and blue: Mystery

Which Card Do You Prefer?

See results

Surveiling Cards in Magic

In addition to today's scry effects, you can tweak your upcoming draws using the similar surveil ability. Like scrying, a surveil reveals a certain number of cards from your library, and you can place any back on top that you wish. But rather than moving some to the bottom, you can now send them to the graveyard, swiftly preparing aftermath or flashback effects.

Whether you're scrying or surveiling, the ability to manipulate your deck helps you quickly pull what you need during a match and works great for accessing the reduced prices of miracle effects. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of card-revealing tools, vote for your favorite spell and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)