Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
What Are the Best Tutor Cards in Magic?
In Magic, the Tutors are a powerful set of spells that can search needed cards, either placing them on top of your deck (rigging your next draw) or directly into your hand. These are particularly useful in the 100-card decks of commander matches, where they browse through your large deck lists to search out a needed unit (helpful since each card beyond basic lands must be unique, making anything that can search your singular aces a worthy addition).
Today we're examining strictly Tutor members; we'll save other searches for another countdown. With that in mind, which members reign supreme? These are the ten best Tutor cards in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Idyllic Tutor
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 3
Idyllic Tutor operates at just sorcery speed and can only search enchantments from your deck, but (unlike some Tutors), it places the card directly into your hand and doesn't have any additional costs.
It's as simple as that; use Idyllic to nab whichever aura, saga, or regular enchantment you need. It also works on enchantment creatures, meaning it can snuff out the legendary god cards.
9. Infernal Tutor
Many of the best Tutors stem from the black faction, and Infernal is no exception. It works best in standard or other non-commander formats, as you reveal a card and search a duplicate of it from your deck, a prime bargain for just two mana.
However, Infernal's hellbent trait instead lets you search any spell you like if you have no cards left in hand as you cast it, rewarding you for playing or simply suffering forced discards.
8. Grim Tutor
One of the most expensive Magic cards of all time, legal copies of Grim Tutor often cost over $200. Not hard to see why considering its powers; three black mana lets you search your library for any card and add it to your hand.
This offers the same search of "Diabolic Tutor" for one less mana, the only price being you lose three life. Still, that's a welcome trade-off for the lower CMC, making Grim Tutor one of the best black sorceries available.
7. Sylvan Tutor
Sylvan Tutor only requires one mana and hunts any creature from your deck list. However, instead of adding it to your hand, you place it on top of your deck, so you'll still need to draw it. Hard to complain when Sylvan only needs one mana, and it makes an excellent play on your first turn or when you have leftover mana, letting you put those excess resources to good use by adeptly manipulating your next draw.
6. Worldly Tutor
Wordly Tutor functions exactly like Sylvan Tutor, costing one green mana and gimmicking a creature from your library to the top of your deck, letting you soon draw a beast that fits your current situation. However, Worldly's instant status lets you wait until the last second to cast it, a handy way to ensure your opponent doesn't disrupt your gimmicked draw with shuffling effects or other tricks.
5. Enlightened Tutor
Enlightened offers an upgraded version of Idyllic Tutor, the only disadvantage being the card goes to the top of your deck, not your hand. However, Enlightened only needs one mana, functions at instant speed, and can search either an enchantment or an artifact, a heap of bonuses that give it the edge over its relative.
4. Personal Tutor
For a single blue mana, this sorcery searches another sorcery from your library to the top of your deck, guaranteeing your next draw. Use Personal to rig "Temporal Mastery", whose miracle effect lets you take an extra turn for just two mana when drawn and revealed!
3. Vampiric Tutor
Similar to Worldly and Enlightened Tutor, Vampiric instantly searches a card to the top of your deck at instant speed, but this time you can choose any type of unit, making it another great candidate to rig miracle cards to your benefit or simply track down a card. You lose two life, but that's a negligible price for such a versatile and powerful effect, especially in EDH, where your higher starting life total provides health to spare.
2. Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor only functions at sorcery speed, but it's simply the cheapest way to find a unit, placing any type of spell from your library into your hand. With no lifeloss or other disadvantages, Demonic remains (in the formats where it's not banned) the ultimate card-to-hand maneuver.
1. Mystical Tutor
Number one for its lowcost, variable search, and instant speed, Mystical Tutor can be cast at any time for just one blue mana, moving any instant or sorcery from your library to the top of your deck, a great way to search blue staples like "Mana Drain" or "Cryptic Command".
Mystical replicates Personal's combo with Temporal Mastery and other miracle spells, improving upon it thanks to its speed, making it a mainstay in my blue EDH decks. In terms of real-world money, none of the Tutors are particularly cheap due to their rarity and competitive nature; thankfully, Mystical avoids the double and triple digits of its counterparts, often costing less than seven dollars!
An artifact equipment
Attune with Aether
A basic land
Other Card Searches in MTG
While not Tutors, the above cards (of which many more exist) offer alternative ways to search spells; always be aware of the plays your factions offer.
As for Tutors, remember that since they're inexpensive instants and sorceries, they also help meet the graveyard-fill conditions of cards with "spell mastery", "threshold", and "delirium" effects. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of card-finding spells, vote for your favorite Tutor and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
Pilcrow on August 14, 2020:
I prefer Green Sun's Zenith in mono green decks over Sylvan/Worldly Tutor, and it's awesome for green-containing multicolor creatures as well.
My friend has it in his Sliver deck for playing the rainbow legendaries without worrying about mana colors, and I've used it to justify adding Animar, Soul of Elements to a mostly-green deck (he combos extremely well with Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, and an Ancestral Statue makes things even more fun).
AmandaFar on July 29, 2020:
Very interesting article!
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on February 18, 2020:
Imperial Seal is great for just one mana, but I usually prefer today's cards since Seal spends two life and tutors on top of library instead of into hand.
someone on February 18, 2020:
you totally forgot imperial seal
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on August 26, 2019:
I believe you're thinking of "Vampiric Tutor", which is an instant and only costs one mana. However, you lose two life when you play it, and instead of adding the card to your hand, it puts it on top of your deck. In most cases, I prefer Demonic Tutor, but both are potent cards.
Sean on August 26, 2019:
The older Demonic Tutor is better cause it costs 1 and it is a instant. Now it costs 2 and it's a sorcery.