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Top 10 Underrated Card-Draws in MTG Historic Brawl

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

Use Keruga as a companion to increase draw rate

Use Keruga as a companion to increase draw rate

Card Advantage in MTG Arena

The closest we currently get to commander in Magic's online Arena is historic brawl. This is a similar game, but it has 25 life instead of 40. It features a smaller yet still expansive card collection.

Like commander, maintaining your hand is crucial to meeting land drops, finding removals, and playing your combos, but several worthy draw spells often slip under players' radars—here are 10 useful yet overlooked draw cards for historic brawl format of Magic: The Gathering!

Chart a Course

Chart a Course

10. Chart a Course

Use with: Baral, Chief of Compliance or Galazeth Prismari

This spell fits in pretty much any blue deck but works especially well with sorcery-discounting effects of Baral and Galazeth. Course draws two cards, then discards one unless you've attacked that turn.

Even if you have to discard, you're maintaining your hard while tossing unneeded cards and prepping your graveyard, and at best, this is an easy +1 in advantage.

Mischievous Catgeist

Mischievous Catgeist

Catlike Curiosity

Catlike Curiosity

9. Mischievous Catgeist/Catlike Curiosity

Use with: Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy

Catgeist is weak at 1/1, but when he inflicts combat damage, you draw a card. This pressures commonly-seen control commanders like Teferi and Bolas to waste their low-level removals lest you quickly amass tons of cards.

Plus, once Catgeist hits the graveyard, you can cast its transformed aura, Catlike Curiosity, which similarly provides a draw when its enchanted creature hits your opponent. Two great spells that reward aggression with advantage.

Mentor's Guidance (Arena adjusted)

Mentor's Guidance (Arena adjusted)

8. Mentor's Guidance

Use with: Baral or Galazeth

Guidance was pretty bad in its original 3-cost form, but the Arena-exclusive adjustment reduces it to 2, making it far better. You scry one and draw a card, then do it again just by controlling a planeswalker, cleric, druid, shaman, warlock, or wizard-type creature.

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These are all common subtypes that make it incredibly easy to get two scries and draws, quickly finding needed cards and ensuring land drops.

Ghostly Pilferer

Ghostly Pilferer

7. Ghostly Pilferer

Use with: Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy

Pilferer has decent 2/1 stats and spirit-rogue subtypes, but really excels with his draw effect, giving you a draw when your opponent casts from anywhere other than their hand. Of course, this includes playing their commander from the command zone, and also triggers from graveyard or exile casting.

He can also discard to become unblockable for the turn, and pay two mana when he untaps to draw, offering yet another way to bolster your hand.

Cling to Dust

Cling to Dust

6. Cling to Dust

Use with: Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

Dust instantly exiles a card from a graveyard, giving 3 life if it's a creature or a draw if not. Basically, a cheap cycling effect that can attack enemy graveyards.

Plus, you can recast Dust from your graveyard for its four mana-escape cost by exiling five other cards from your graveyard. Definitely a pricey cost for a draw, but useful if you start running low late-game, or need to exile something your opponent tries to revive (via Elspeth Conquers Death or the like).

Freyalise, Skyshroud Partisan

Freyalise, Skyshroud Partisan

5. Freyalise, Skyshroud Partisan

Use with: Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy

If you use even a few elves in your deck (most green builds want at least Llanowar Elves and Oracle of Mul Daya), I highly recommend Freyalise. She's cheaper than most planeswalkers at 3 mana, enters with an impressive four loyalty, and can +1 to untap an elf while giving both it and a random elf from hand a perpetual +1/+1.

Or, if you need more cards, use -1 to seek a random elf card from your deck. If you can make it to -6, you can conjure a Regal Force onto the field, a fierce 5/5 that draws a card on entry per green creature you control (including itself).

Slayer's Bounty

Slayer's Bounty

4. Slayer's Bounty

Use with: Golos Tireless Pilgrim

Bounty reveals creatures in your opponent's hand on entry, giving some nice tactical info, and when you sacrifice it or another clue, you draft (pick one of three randomly-chosen) cards from its library (listed below). Of course, like most clues, you can sacrifice it to draw for two mana, an easy +1 advantage in tangent with its draft.

While clues are still relatively rare, Bounty will only get better as more are added to the game, and is still more than playable by itself. Here are the possible drafting options, many focused on eliminating creatures:

  • Bounty Agent
  • Outflank
  • Bound in Gold
  • Bring to Trial
  • Glass Casket
  • Reprobation
  • Collar the Culprit
  • Compulsory Rest
  • Expel
  • Fairgrounds Warden
  • Iron Verdict
  • Luminous Bonds
  • Raise the Alarm
  • Seal Away
  • Summary Judgment
Tome of Legends

Tome of Legends

3. Tome of Legends

Use with: Emry, Lurker of the Loch or Galazeth

Most reoccurring draw artifacts (like Mazemind's Tome) spend two to cast and another two to draw. Legends discounts the draw price to one; the only restriction is that you need to remove a page counter from it.

But not only does Legends start with a page counter, it gets another whenever your commander enters the field or attacks. Great for any deck, especially with artifact synergy. If you're running the colorless-discounting planeswalker Ugin the Ineffable, you can even potentially cast Tome for free!

Wizard Class (Arena adjusted)

Wizard Class (Arena adjusted)

2. Wizard Class

Use with: Baral

It's a bit unfortunate that historic brawl's best enchantment commander, Sythis Harvest Hand, doesn't contain blue (she's white/green), but this Arena-improved card still works great in any blue deck.

Class only takes one mana to cast, simply giving you an infinite hand size. From there, you can pay two mana to draw three cards, and another three (discounted from the paper version's five-cost) to give your creature a +1/+1 when you draw.

While none of the effects are overwhelming, they're great add-ons to a turn where you have leftover mana, and can really start pressuring foes you see holding mana for counterspells (abilities are much harder to counter than spells).

Rishkar's Expertise

Rishkar's Expertise

1. Rishkar's Expertise

Use with: Kinnan, Golos, or Niv-Mizzet

Expertise offers a great six-cost play when you can't quite afford the seven-cost abilities of Golos and Kinnan, drawing cards equal to the greatest power among creatures you control. Then, you get to cast a spell of cost five or less from your hand for free!

So, not only do you get several new cards, you can potentially refund almost all the mana put into Expertise. This spell is criminally underrated, but to safely cast it, try playing it when you have multiple creatures, ensuring you still get some draws if your opponent responds with an instant removal.

Draw Staples in Historic Brawl

Today we explored many underrated cards, but of course you won't want to forget the classics found in most decks. From Memory Deluge to Behold the Multiverse and The Great Henge, Magic offers many ways to keep your hand full throughout the game. But for now, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2022 Jeremy Gill

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