Top 10 Transmute Cards in Magic: The Gathering

Updated on January 12, 2020
Jeremy Gill profile image

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

How Does Transmute Work in Magic: The Gathering?

Several blue and black Magic cards have the valued transmute trait. These spells can be played from your hand as normal, but if you instead discard them from your hand and pay three mana, you get to reveal any card from your deck with the same cost as the discarded spell and add it to hand.

You can only transmute at sorcery speed, but this provides an excellent way to both fill your graveyard and tutor needed spells—which transmuters reign supreme? These are the ten best transmute cards in Magic: The Gathering!

Dimir House Guard mtg
Dimir House Guard mtg

10. Dimir House Guard

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4

Despite carrying the Dimir name, House Guard only needs black mana. For four, his stats are disappointing at 2/3, but Guard can sacrifice an allied creature to regenerate himself and fear means he can only be blocked by black or artifact creatures.

Of course, you can also discard House Guard from your hand and pay three mana to transmute, pulling any four-cost spell from your deck. This works especially well in formats like commander where each card in your deck is different, making tutors all the more valuable.

Clutch of the Undercity mtg
Clutch of the Undercity mtg

9. Clutch of the Undercity

CMC: 4

Undercity costs more mana than most bounce spells, but can instantly return any permanent (not just a creature) to its owner's hand. It also makes that card's controller lose three life, so it's a surprisingly decent removal. Or, pay three and discard it to transmute a four-cost card from your deck.

Remember that you may cast Clutch as an instant, but it still transmutes at sorcery speed.

Shred Memory mtg
Shred Memory mtg

8. Shred Memory

CMC: 2

Memory instantly exiles up to four cards from a single graveyard, a solid countermeasure against graveyard-focused decks. Otherwise, transmute it by spending three to search out any two-cost card from your deck.

As a bonus, transmuting instants or sorceries like Memory is helpful for meeting spell mastery (2+ sorceries/instants in graveyard), delirium (4+ card types in graveyard), and threshold (7+ cards in graveyard) conditions.

Dimir Machinations mtg
Dimir Machinations mtg

7. Dimir Machinations

CMC: 3

Machinations lets you look at the top three cards of any player's deck, exile any of them, then place the rest back in any order. Cast it on an opponent to mess with their upcoming draws or slightly mill their deck, or target yourself for a scry-like effect when you need to rig your own draws.

But if you don't need Machinations at the moment, transmute it to nab a different three-cost spell from your deck.

Drift of Phantasms mtg
Drift of Phantasms mtg

6. Drift of Phantasms

CMC: 3

Blue doesn't always have a lot of big creatures, making Phantasms an appreciated blocker thanks to 0/5 stats, flying, and defender (which prevents him from attacking, but you probably wouldn't want to anyway). Spirit synergy also helps in tribal decks.

Like Machinations, you can also transmute Phantasms for a different three-cost spell. And once discarded, Phantasms makes nice fodder for spells with delve, which become cheaper by exiling cards in your graveyard.

Grozoth mtg
Grozoth mtg

5. Grozoth

CMC: 9

Easily today's most mana-draining card, Grozoth requires a hefty nine mana to play, and defender means he can't attack. However, he has fantastic 9/9 stats, can spend four mana to lose defender for the turn, and on entry, lets you add any number of nine-cost spells from deck to hand (including other Grozoths)!

But if you're still leagues away from paying his cost, transmute him to grab another nine-cost spell, hopefully one with a price-reducing trait.

Dimir Infiltrator mtg
Dimir Infiltrator mtg

4. Dimir Infiltrator

CMC: 2

For just two mana, Infiltrator offers a solid 1/3 with spirit synergy who can't be blocked, making him a great recipient for direct-damage triggers on cards like the "Sword of Fire and Ice" or anything with ninjutsu. Of course, you can also transmute Infiltrator by discarding him and paying three mana, tutoring any two-cost spell.

A staple for any blue/black commander deck, Infiltrator is also surprisingly cheap, costing less than a single dollar!

Perplex mtg
Perplex mtg

3. Perplex

CMC: 3

Perplex counters a spell unless its controller discards their hand. Unless their hand is already empty, most players won't be willing to toss everything, meaning Perplex usually succeeds in thwarting a play.

Thankfully, if your foe's hand is already depleted, you can always transmute Perplex for another card, again remembering to do so on your main phase.

Tolaria West mtg
Tolaria West mtg

2. Tolaria West

CMC: 0

Tolaria West enters tapped, so you'll have to wait for its mana, and like a standard island, it simply provides one blue. So, either use it on a turn where that extra resource won't make a difference, or transmute it for three if you have all the mana you need. This triggers the game's only zero-cost transmute, pulling any land or zero-cost spell.

West also blends beautifully with cards that play lands from your graveyard like "Crucible of Worlds" and "Ramunap Excavator".

Muddle the Mixture mtg
Muddle the Mixture mtg

1. Muddle the Mixture

CMC: 2

Mixture is surprisingly tempting even without transmute, countering any instant or sorcery for just two, a slightly-more restricted version of the classic "Counterspell". Few decks don't run any instants or sorceries, but if you happen to face one, simply transmute Mixture for a different two-cost spell and go about your merry way.

Which card do you prefer?

See results

Transmute Decks in Magic

Transmute provides an amazing alternate use on cards, ensuring nothing is ever wasted, and the fact that it fills your graveyard only sweetens the pot. Remember that transmuting always functions at sorcery speed and costs three mana, but pulls spells of different sizes based on the transmuter. And when you transmute, you can find any card with the right cost; it doesn't have to be blue or black.

Hopefully we'll see the mechanic return in future sets, but for now, vote for your favorite library-searching transmuter and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2020 Jeremy Gill

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hobbylark.com 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: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    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)
    Marketing
    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.
    Statistics
    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)