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Top 10 Drafting Spellbook Cards in "MTG Arena"

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

Ominous Traveler

Ominous Traveler

How to Draft From Spellbooks in MTG Arena

Magic Arena's exclusive online spells may let players "draft" cards. You're given three options to randomly choose from a set pool (which changes based on the spell), and choose one to conjure a copy of, usually into your hand.

This mimics the fun of draft format in paper play and adapts to your opponent's playstyle. Also note that conjured cards aren't tokens, but full cards—they go to your graveyard if destroyed, can be discarded, and so on. Which reign supreme? These are the 10 best spellbook libraries to draft from in Magic: The Gathering: Arena!

Garruk, Wrath of the Wilds

Garruk, Wrath of the Wilds

10. Garruk, Wrath of the Wilds

Recommended drafts: Barkhide Troll, Dawntreader Elk, Territorial Scythecat

Garruk here enters with a nice four loyalty and his +1 perpetually gives a creature in hand +1/+1 and makes it one cheaper to cast. Garruk can also protect himself with -1, which conjures one of his spellbook's creatures not into your hand but directly to the field! Your options are basically 2-3 cost creatures with various effects, but they're great for protecting Garruk from early aggro or pressuring enemy planeswalkers.

Garruk's ultimate is admittedly weak; -6 gives a turn's worth of +3/+3 and trample, but that's a nitpick next to his superior and early effects.

Tireless Angler

Tireless Angler

9. Tireless Angler

Recommended drafts: Nadir Kraken, Ruin Crab, Voracious Greatshark

Tireless Angler makes a solid blocker at 2/4, and he conjures a card into your hand whenever an island or swamp land enters your field, potentially triggering the turn you play him. He has a neat spellbook of blue creatures with a variety of mana costs, adapting to your current mana production, and remember that non-basic lands can also trigger the draft.

Imperial Blademaster

Imperial Blademaster

8. Imperial Blademaster

Recommended drafts: Eater of Virtue, Norika Yamazaki the Poet, Heiko Yamazaki the General

A 2/2 double striker with samurai support isn't bad for three mana, and whenever a samurai or warrior you control attacks alone, Blademaster drafts from his spellbook; give him haste or play him with a warrior or samurai already out to draft that same turn.

Admittedly Blademaster's spellbook is a bit lackluster, mostly containing minor samurai and warrior creature supports, but hey, free cards are free cards and especially useful for Boros colors not generally known for long-term advantage.

Slayer's Bounty

Slayer's Bounty

7. Slayer's Bounty

Recommended drafts: Bounty Agent, Glass Casket, Reprobation

Perhaps the most underrated of all drafts, Bounty synergizes with artifact decks, only takes one mana to cast, and reveals all opposing creature cards in your opponent's hand when it enters, giving tactical info.

From there, it drafts a card whenever you sacrifice a clue (which takes two mana and draws a card); while clues aren't that common, you can always sac Bounty itself to both draw and draft. The draft options are early to mid-game white removals focused on eliminating enemy creatures, and you've got some respectable choices, like the commander-disabling aura Reprobation.

Tibalt, Wicked Tormentor

Tibalt, Wicked Tormentor

6. Tibalt, Wicked Tormentor

Recommended drafts: Charmbreaker Devils, Sin Prodder, Hellrider

Tibalt does cost five mana and sadly arrives with just three loyalty, but he compensates with an excellent +1 that adds two red mana and drafts one of his spellbook's cards into exile, letting you cast it that turn; most are mid-range creatures with damage-dealing effects. Alternatively, his next +1 hits a creature or planeswalker for four damage unless your opponent takes it directly, but if they do, you can discard a card to draw a new one.

Finally, his -X creates X number of 1/1 red devil tokens that deal one damage to any target when they die, and they make good chump blockers to protect Tibalt from aggression.

Arms Scavenger

Arms Scavenger

5. Arms Scavenger

Recommended drafts: Boots of Speed, Goldvein Pick, Mirror Shield

Arms Scavenger offers an early 2/2 who makes all your equip abilities cost one less mana, making some free! Additionally, at your upkeep, he drafts a card into exile and lets you play it that turn; options include many low-cost equipment, synergizing excellently with Scavenger's discount.

Cursebound Witch

Cursebound Witch

4. Cursebound Witch

Recommended drafts: Witch's Cottage, Unwilling Ingredient, Black Cat

Cursebound Witch provides easy advantage, offering 1/2 fodder for black's sacrificial abilities, drafting when she dies. Her spellbook focuses on lifedrain, many sapping enemy health and adding it to your own, and she can potentially conjure the land Witch's Cottage, ensuring a land drop if needed.

Bind to Secrecy

Bind to Secrecy

3. Bind to Secrecy

Recommended drafts: Reassembling Skeleton, Unmarked Grave, Wonder

This instant either counters a non-creature spell or conjures a duplicate copy of a creature in an opponent's graveyard while letting you spend any mana on it. Plus, if you have at least five different mana values among cards in your graveyard when Secrecy resolves, you get to draft one of its graveyard-emphasizing cards.

Honestly, even if your graveyard isn't filled enough for the bonus draft, a two-mana counterspell with secondary utility justifies itself.

Tome of the Infinite

Tome of the Infinite

2. Tome of the Infinite

Best drafts (in this case it's random): Swords to Plowshares, Lightning Bolt, Dark Ritual

Tome takes three to cast and one blue to use, tapping to conjure one of its cards to hand. Notably, you aren't drafting, so you have no control in what you get, but to compensate, Infinite offers some amazing spells from all slices of the color pie. You can potentially nab cheap creature removals like Swords or Bolt, mana ramp from Dark Ritual, card advantage from Ponder, and more.

Key to the Archive

Key to the Archive

1. Key to the Archive

Recommended drafts: Counterspell, Day of Judgment, Time Warp

Archive enters tapped, later tapping for two mana in any color combo, a useful ramp. Additionally, when it enters, you draft and then discard a card; you can discard what you drafted if desired, but considering its amazing library (which includes counterspells, board wipes, and extra turns), you're almost always improving your hand with the draft.

Bonus points if you flicker it to retrigger the draft/discard.

Arena-Exclusive Abilities

Cards and mechanics appearing only online remain controversial, with some players valuing their usage of having a computer available (like seeking certain card types), while others feel paper players get cheated out of new spells.

Personally, I don't mind them so long as they don't overtake the game, but for now, share your thoughts and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2022 Jeremy Gill