Top 20 Zero-Cost Spells in Magic: The Gathering

Updated on July 18, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

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

Free Spells in Magic

Most Magic spells require various sums of mana, scaling in power the more they cost. But some can actually be accessed for free, letting you cast them even if you're out of resources.

Not to be confused with lands (which aren't actually spells), today's tools grant you powerful advantages without draining your mana pool—which reign supreme? These are the 20 best zero-cost spells in Magic: The Gathering!

Mox Amber mtg
Mox Amber mtg

20. Mox Amber

Like nearly all of today's spells, Amber is a colorless artifact, suitable for any commander deck. It taps for any mana color possessed by one of your legendary creatures or planeswalkers. Of course, you have to control a suitable legendary for this to work, but it's still a powerful and versatile ramp that stacks with your usual land-per-turn.

Lotus Bloom mtg
Lotus Bloom mtg

19. Lotus Bloom

Lotus Bloom carries the same power as the infamous "Black Lotus"... eventually. For zero mana, you suspend it from your hand into exile with three time counters. You remove one during each of your upkeeps, and Bloom enters the field when all are gone.

After finally arriving, you can use Bloom's effect, tapping and sacrificing it to gain three mana of any one color, just like its renowned cousin.

Welding Jar mtg
Welding Jar mtg

18. Welding Jar

Many of today's spells are ramping supplements, but Welding Jar has a different function; you can sacrifice it at any time to regenerate an artifact you control. This means that the next time the artifact would be destroyed that turn, it becomes tapped instead.

Very few spells regenerate artifacts, especially without needing mana, making this a great way to protect commander staples like "Sol Ring" and "Paradox Engine."

Tormod's Crypt mtg
Tormod's Crypt mtg

17. Tormod's Crypt

Like Welding Jar, Crypt won't help you produce mana, but it can tap and sacrifice itself to exile all cards from a player's graveyard. The usefulness of this really depends on what you're facing, but it's absolutely devastating against graveyard-dependent black themes, and it defends against graveyard-activated abilities like flashback and unearth.

Gustha's Scepter mtg
Gustha's Scepter mtg

16. Gustha's Scepter

Here's a deceptively powerful card. Scepter can tap to exile a card from your hand face-down, or to return a card it exiled back to your hand.

This seemingly-useless effect is anything but. For instance, you can store cards away while you activate mass-discard effects (like "Day's Undoing"), then reclaim your concealed spell for increased hand advantage.

Mox Opal mtg
Mox Opal mtg

15. Mox Opal

Opal taps for a mana of any color, a prime benefit you can add to your land-per-turn. That said, you must control at least three artifacts to activate the effect, meaning you'll need two others.

Use Opal in tangent with today's other cards to potentially access its mana on your first turn, affording higher-cost spells before foes are prepared to counter.

Ornithopter mtg
Ornithopter mtg

14. Ornithopter

The first of our zero-cost artifact-creature duos, Ornithopter is a weak 0/2, but those are honestly decent stats considering he's free, especially since he also comes with flying.

Ornithopter's a great addition to blue artifact/flying decks, especially since he's one of today's cheapest cards, costing well under a single dollar!

Memnite mtg
Memnite mtg

13. Memnite

As of this writing, Memnite's the only free creature with power above zero, making him great for aggressive artifact decks. And remember that his dual types offer numerous synergies.

Phyrexian Walker mtg
Phyrexian Walker mtg

12. Phyrexian Walker

Walker's yet another zero-cost creature. While his 0/3 stats resemble a wall, he doesn't actually have defender, meaning he can still attack (useful when boosted by auras or equipments).

Shield Sphere mtg
Shield Sphere mtg

11. Shield Sphere

Unlike Walker, Shield Sphere counts as a wall and can't attack. Furthermore, whenever he blocks, he gains a -0/-1 counter, gradually decreasing his toughness. But those are small complaints considering his amazing 0/6 stats, offering an incredible defender for such a low price.

Mishra's Bauble mtg
Mishra's Bauble mtg

10. Mishra's Bauble

Bauble's a simple trinket, able to sacrifice itself to look at the top card of any player's deck, then have you draw a card at the start of the next turn's upkeep. So, it'll quickly replace itself in your hand, give you a sneak peek at your foe's upcoming plays, and help activate draw-powered abilities.

Lion's Eye Diamond mtg
Lion's Eye Diamond mtg

9. Lion's Eye Diamond

Diamond offers another Black Lotus-like effect, at least to those willing to pay its price. By sacrificing it and discarding your entire hand, you add three mana of any color. Use Diamond when your hand is already empty or you're running discard-activated madness effects to mitigate its price and seize a resource lead.

Pact of Negation mtg
Pact of Negation mtg

8. Pact of Negation

This one's a cheat since you really need five mana available on your next turn to play it, but it's still technically a zero-cost spell. Pact of Negation simply counters and negates a play, but has you lose the game unless you spend five mana at your next upkeep. Use it cautiously, but it's great for thwarting a big play by tricking foes into thinking you're all tapped out and can't afford a counterspell.

Chrome Mox mtg
Chrome Mox mtg

7. Chrome Mox

Chrome Mox imprints a non-artifact, non-land card from your hand when it enters the field. This means you exile the card, and Mox can subsequently tap for any color that the card has. By sacrificing a little card advantage, you gain not just an extra resource-per-turn, but one of any color, a powerful force in rainbow themes.

Mox Diamond mtg
Mox Diamond mtg

6. Mox Diamond

Similarly to Chrome Mox, Diamond offers extra mana by weakening your hand. In this case, you simply have to discard a land when it arrives, at which point Diamond can tap for any color. That's a powerful tool for multicolor decks, and you can utilize your discarded land with spells like "Crucible of Worlds."

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mox Pearl mtgMox Sapphire mtgMox Jet mtgMox Ruby mtgMox Emerald mtg
Mox Pearl mtg
Mox Pearl mtg
Mox Sapphire mtg
Mox Sapphire mtg
Mox Jet mtg
Mox Jet mtg
Mox Ruby mtg
Mox Ruby mtg
Mox Emerald mtg
Mox Emerald mtg

5. The Colored Mox Jewels

The standard Mox gems each tap for a colored mana, no price required. They act like basic lands without spending your land-per-turn, but note they're banned in commander. Here's a quick list of their members:

  • White: Mox Pearl
  • Blue: Mox Sapphire
  • Black: Mox Jet
  • Red: Mox Ruby
  • Green: Mox Emerald

Lotus Petal mtg
Lotus Petal mtg

4. Lotus Petal

Petal gives a brief but appreciated mana surge, simply tapping and sacrificing itself for one mana of any color. While you only get to use it once, it's an extra resource of a needed hue, which can make all the difference in close games.

Black Lotus mtg
Black Lotus mtg

3. Black Lotus

The infamous Black Lotus is Magic's most expensive card, and since it's banned in nearly every format, even those lucky enough to have one can rarely play it. Tapping and sacrificing Lotus grants three mana of any color, an outrageous boost with no drawback.

Blacker Lotus mtg
Blacker Lotus mtg

2. Blacker Lotus

As part of the semi-official Unglued expansion, Blacker Lotus is rarely allowed in official play, but it's technically superior even to Black Lotus, making it arguably the best card ever made. To use it, you have to literally tear the card into pieces, meaning it truly is a one-time benefit. But you'll gain four mana of any single color, an overwhelming mana source that lets you access half your deck even on the first turn.

Mana Crypt mtg
Mana Crypt mtg

1. Mana Crypt

Unlike Black and Blacker Lotus, Mana Crypt remains legal in commander (and many other formats), making it realistically more useful. Like Sol Ring, Crypt taps for two colorless mana. The only downside is you have to flip a coin during each upkeep, and if you call it wrong, you take three damage.

But with EDH's boosted life totals, taking an average 1½ damage each turn is nothing compared to two extra resources, making this one of the most expensive commander-legal cards available.

Which card do you prefer?

See results

Using Zero-Cost Spells in Magic

In addition to their mana-adding functions, remember that today's spells lets you easily attain the reduced prices of surge cards, which activate when you've cast other spells during the turn. They also help meet conditions requiring consecutive castings, like that on "Jori En, Ruin Diver," and since most are artifacts, they help afford cards with affinity.

Be sure to check legality before using them in official play, but for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of free-to-play spells, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 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)