Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Accessing Your Deck in Magic
Most card advantage in Magic comes from extra draws, replenishing your hand to ensure you meet your land drops and have spells available. But it can also stem from a rare set of cards that continuously let you play from the top of your deck.
Not only do these let you know what you're about to draw, they effectively give you an extra card at all times. Deck-access spells come in all colors, often only letting you play specific card types—which reign supreme? These are the ten best cards that play from the top of your library in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Melek, Izzet Paragon
This weird wizard (Melek's actual subtypes) has poor 2/4 stats, but plays with your deck's top card revealed. Not only does Melek let you cast instants and sorceries from it, he copies spells cast that way, giving you double the effect.
It's as simple as that; use blue scrying to ensure your library's top card is something you can cast.
9. Verge Rangers
Verge is much cheaper than Melek and only lets you see your deck's top card. You can play it if it's a land and at least one other player controls more lands than you (easier in multiplayer settings like commander).
Verge is also 3/3 with first strike, so don't underestimate his battle prowess either.
8. Courser of Kruphix
Courser has respectable 2/4 stats, reveals the top card of your deck, and lets you play it if it's a land (you need an available land drop, though). She also gives you one life whenever you play a land (from anywhere), and as an enchantment creature, works well with enchantment-focused decks.
7. Radha, Heart of Keld
Similar to Courser, Radha lets you (and only you) look at and play lands from the top of your deck. She has impressive 3/3 stats plus first strike during your turn, as well as useful elf and warrior subtypes.
As a final bonus, Radha can pay six mana to gain +X/+X for the turn, where X is the number of lands you control, letting her swing for devastating amounts of damage (especially if she has trample) once you've stockpiled enough lands.
6. Oracle of Mul Daya
Compared to Radha, Oracle is weaker at 2/2 and costs more mana. However, she only needs one color, still counts as an elf, and not only lets you look at and play lands from the top of your deck, but gives you an extra land-per-turn.
In short, if you can defend Oracle from threats, she'll easily fill your field with resources to afford just about any spell.
5. Vivien, Monsters' Advocate
Vivien requires a fair sum of mana and her starting loyalty is rather low at three, but she's one of the easiest planeswalkers to defend since her +1 creates a 3/3 beast with either a vigilance, reach, or trample counter.
More than that, she lets you look at and play creatures from the top of your deck, and while she lacks an ultimate, her -2 lets you cast a creature of lesser cost from your deck when you play your next creature that turn.
4. Conspicuous Snoop
Snoop is today's cheapest card mana-wise, only needing two mana. He's also the most tribal, revealing your top card and letting you cast it if it's a goblin. Additionally, Snoop gains any activated abilities of goblins on top of deck, so he can potentially replicate powerful effects of cards like "Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker".
3. Magus of the Future
Magus of the Future is the creature form of "Future Sight", playing with your deck's top cards revealed and letting you play it no matter what type of card it is. His 2/3 stats aren't great, but wizard synergy does give some tribal options.
Still, for a safer play, look to the original…
2. Future Sight
Just like Magus, Future Sight reveals your top card and lets you play it, regardless of what type it is. Of course, playing lands requires a land drop, and other spells require their normal amount of mana, but this is an amazing way to cast spells while maintaining card advantage.
The three blue symbols in Sight's cost also make it useful for meeting blue devotion, and it's surprisingly cheap for a powerful rare, costing less than one dollar!
1. Bolas's Citadel
Citadel costs several mana, at least three of which need to be black. But this legendary artifact lets you peek at your deck's top card and play it, but instead of spending mana on spells, you instead pay that much life.
In most cases (especially formats with extra life like EDH), this is beneficial, letting you save mana for cards in hand while rapidly swarming your field. As a final coup de grâce, Citadel can tap and sacrifice ten non-lands to have each opponent lose ten life.
Deck-Exilers in Magic
In addition to today's spells, red cards like "Light Up the Stage" and "Rhythm of the Wild" will exile cards from your deck and let you play them, another way to access additional spells.
Or, if you need a specific card type on top of deck and it's not there, try shuffling with fetch-lands or other tutors, but for now, vote for your favorite deck-accessor and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill