Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms MTG Set
Magic's first Dungeons & Dragons inspired set, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, introduced a new type of enchantment called class cards. Like other enchantments, these have passive abilities when played, but you can pay more mana later to gain "levels", unlocking up to two extra abilities.
This makes them incredibly versatile, as they're playable in the early game but help in mid-to-late thanks to upgrading effects—which reign supreme? These are the ten best class enchantments in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Rogue Class
Level 1 (2 mana): Exile the top card of an opponent's deck when you deal them combat damage.
Level 2 (3): Creatures you control gain menace.
Level 3 (4): You may play cards exiled with Rogue class, and spend and mana type on them.
Blue-black rogue decks, big on milling opponents, were huge in standard's Zendikar Rising era, the set right before Adventures. However, their class came as a bit of a disappointment. Sure, its first effect slightly increases mill speed, and its second makes your rogues harder to block, but you don't truly gain advantage until your third class level, which takes a net investment of eight mana, which is just too little too late. Unplayable? No. But not great either.
9. Warlock Class
Level 1 (1 mana): Opponents lose one life at your end step if a creature died this turn.
Level 2 (2): Add one of your deck's top three cards to hand and mill the rest.
Level 3 (6): Opponents lose life at your end step equal to what they've lost this turn.
I really want to like Warlock Class, and it's not terrible, but neither is it amazing. Its first level isn't anything special, and the third, while nice, is horribly overpriced at six mana. Fortunately, I do enjoy the second effect, which finds a card and mills a few, both useful tools for black. Decent outlets for leftover mana, but far from a must-include.
8. Sorcerer Class
Level 1 (2 mana): Draw two cards, then discard two
Level 2 (3): Creatures you control can tap for a red or blue mana that must be used on an instant, sorcery, or class level.
Level 3 (5): When you cast an instant or sorcery, inflict damage to opponents equal to the number of instants/sorceries you've cast this turn.
On entry, Sorcerer Class draws and discards twice, perfect for prepping the flashback effects of the Izzet theme. The second level is great for ramp, letting all your creatures tap for a blue or red mana that can only be used on instants, sorceries, or class levels. That's what you're really after in most cases, so feel free to stop there, but if you find yourself with some spare resources, unlock the final level to start adding direct damage with each spell you sling.
7. Monk Class
Level 1 (2 mana): Your second spell each turn costs one less mana.
Level 2 (2): Return up to one non-land permanent to its owner's hand.
Level 3 (3): Exile your deck's top card at your upkeep; you can cast it on any turn as long as you've cast another spell before it.
Arguably the most underrated class, Monk is pretty cheap to max out, and since it makes your second spell cheaper, in some situations it effectively cuts its casting cost to one. Note that its abilities all need at least one blue and one white, so it's a bit hard to splash in rainbow decks, but that's a small price for mana discounts, bounce removal, and long-term advantage.
6. Bard Class
Level 1 (2 mana): Your legendary creatures enter with a +1/+1 counter.
Level 2 (2): Legendary spells you cast cost one less red/green mana (this only works on colored symbols).
Level 3 (5): Exile your deck's top two cards when you cast a legendary; you can play them that turn.
Bard Class is a powerful albeit restricted card, as it really only belongs in Gruul legendary decks. But all of its effects are nice, giving you +1/+1s, discounting colored costs, and finally accessing more cards when you cast legendaries.
5. Cleric Class
Level 1 (1 mana): You gain an extra life whenever you gain life.
Level 2 (4): When you gain life, give one of your creatures a +1/+1 counter.
Level 3 (5): Revive a creature from your graveyard and gain life equal to its toughness.
Admittedly, Cleric Class's first effect of gaining extra life isn't great, and its next abilities both take hefty mana investments. But the lifegain environment it released in combined with its power compensate, as the second level gives ongoing +1/+1s by gaining life, and the final revives a creature (and gains life, which means more counters).
4. Paladin Class
Level 1 (1 mana): Opposing spells cost one more mana on your turn.
Level 2 (3): Your creatures gain +1/+1.
Level 3 (5): One of your attackers each turn gains +1/+1 for each other attacking creature and double strike.
I like all of Paladin's effects, and they're priced fairly mana-wise. The first makes opposing spells more expensive on your turn, the second enhances your creatures, and the last gives double strike and boosted stats to one of your attackers each turn.
Paladin offers arguably the best third level, as double strike in tangent with more power often lets you swing without fear of blockers.
3. Wizard Class
Level 1 (1 mana):You have no maximum hand size.
Level 2 (3): Draw two cards.
Level 3 (5): Give your creature a +1/+1 when you draw.
No max hand size is nice, but aim for level 2, which draws twice, often helping ensure a land play. You can stop there, but in the long-term games blue control decks are known for, you'll eventually find some spare mana for the last effect, buffing blue's weaker creatures with +1/+1s when you draw.
Plus, Wizard goes from good to great in digital game MTG Arena, where its last ability is reduced in cost from five to three, making it easier than ever to bolster your army.
2. Fighter Class
Level 1 (2 mana): Search an equipment from your deck.
Level 2 (3): Your equip abilities cost two less mana.
Level 3 (5): When you attack, target enemy creature must block if able.
Fighter wields the best entrance effect of a class, searching any equipment from your deck. The next level makes your equip abilities costs two less, a great discounts, and the third forces blocks, perfect against mana weenies or utility creatures.
In short, this only belongs in equipment decks, but it's a must-include for them.
1. Ranger Class
Level 1 (2 mana): Create a 2/2 wolf token.
Level 2 (2): Give one of your attackers a +1/+1 when you attack.
Level 3 (4): You may look at your deck's top card and cast creatures from it.
Easily the best class, this spell gives green both aggro and advantage at reasonable costs and with just one color. Just playing it nets a 2/2 body, decently strong in the early game, especially after gaining the next level, which adds a +1/+1 to your attacker each turn. When you have mana later in the game, unlock the last ability to start accessing creatures from top of deck, helping preserve spells in hand.
As if that weren't all, the wolf type is improving thanks to supports from Innistrad, but even non-tribal green decks always want this class.
Altered Costs in Arena
Remember, like other spells, some of today's cards can have altered costs in Arena; in the case of Classes, they're usually discounted to make them even better. Also note they aren't legendary, so you're more than welcome to control multiple of the same and stack their effects, but for now, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2022 Jeremy Gill