I have just finished a rough deck using Gnostro, Voice of the Crags as the commander. The deck works by using Emissary's Ploy (choosing 1) to cast the deck's creatures(most of which are 1-drops) to bulk-cast spells, then use Gnostro to scry and put more spells on top. If an opponent is causing grief, you can stall a few turns and use the other abilities to gain life or remove the problem creature. Once you've amassed an army and drawn into Flying Crane Technique, swing and most likely win.

One problem I knew I was going to find is running out of cards in hand, so I tossed in a dozen draw spells(winged words, drawn from dreams, preordain, etc), and a Clear the Mind/Izzet Chronarch combo so I could keep a decent hand and theoretically always have draw spells in my deck. This works okay...until you don't draw one. Another noteworthy card that helps with hand size is Dragon Mage, but he becomes useless if there's a card you need to hold on to(like Flying Crane Technique).

I want to not have to worry about running out of spells, so I'm looking for a permanent that will let me draw when I either play a spell, play a creature, or scry. Any suggestions?

Note- thought about it a moment, and in case it's causing confusion, it does not have to be red-white-blue, it just has to be legal in a deck with a Jeskai commander.


There are a several cards that fit your parameters. I found them by searching on Scryfall with the search string ci:uwr is:permanent o:whenever o:draw (o:creature or o:scry). This looks for cards in the Jeskai color identity that are permanents, and have the text "whenever" and "draw" on the card to look for repeated triggered abilties that draw cards, and have the text "cast", "creature" or "scry", to look for triggered abilities with those conditions. This finds a lot of false positives, but it only finds 100 cards total, which is small enough to examine manually.

The specific cards that match your criteria are:

  • Customs Depot, which has the ability "Whenever you cast a creature spell, you may pay {1}. If you do, draw a card, then discard a card."
  • Hazoret's Monument, which has the ability "Whenever you cast a creature spell, you may discard a card. If you do, draw a card."
  • Jeskai Ascendancy, which has the ability "Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, you may draw a card. If you do, discard a card."
  • Mentor of the Meek, which has the ability "Whenever another creature with power 2 or less enters the battlefield under your control, you may pay {1}. If you do, draw a card."
  • Whirlwind of Thought, which has the ability "Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, draw a card."
  • Zephyr Scribe, which has the abilities "{U}, {T}: Draw a card, then discard a card." and "Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, untap Zephyr Scribe."
  • The OP seems to be wanting card advantage, so needing to discard a card doesn't help. – Acccumulation Apr 21 at 20:11
  • I expect those cards to still be very useful for digging past excess lands or other cards that aren't relevant for the current board state. – murgatroid99 Apr 21 at 20:15

I'm not answering the title question, which is going to be very restrictive simply because permanents that continuously draw cards are obviously going to be rare (since drawing even a single extra card is a powerful advantage).

Instead I'll address the underlying deckbuilding issues. Disclaimer: I'm familiar with deckbuilding, but not with Commander.

You're playing a deck that wants to cast lots of spells a turn. There are a few such decks around already, in particular Storm (example list in Modern; example list in Legacy), and Prowess (example list in Modern). Your deck concept looks rather inferior to these established strategies because you're relying on playing lots of small creatures and then winning with Flying Crane Technique. Creatures are the easiest permanent to answer - you practically auto-lose against sweepers such as Supreme Verdict - making the strategy seem pretty flimsy.

Things to think about:

  • You might want to play a tokens deck. These rely on making lots of small creatures and pumping them with an anthem effect, which is very similar to the strategy you describe, but they don't actually play many creatures. There have historically been many tokens decks, see e.g. BW Tokens or GW Tokens. Some potential cards are Intangible Virtue, Spectral Procession, maybe Bitterblossom.
  • You might want to play prowess. The list is above. These decks rely on creatures that get buffs whenever you cast a noncreature spell, which is certainly not the same strategy you describe but still casts lots of spells a turn. Prowess decks use prowess creatures (Monastery Swiftspear, Soul-Scar Mage) or other creatures that rely on multiple spells a turn (e.g. Sprite Dragon, Clever Lumimancer) to do damage. They cast a lot of "free" spells (e.g. Lava Dart, Mutagenic Growth) that either don't require mana or replace themselves. They usually don't win with a single attack, being more likely to hit the opponent to low health and then finish the game with burn spells.
  • There is a card that lets you draw cards every time you cast a creature spell (Glimpse of Nature, and also one side of Beck//Call], but they're not in Jeskai colors.
  • If you want to stay Jeskai then:
    • Run card advantage spells that are innate 2-for-1s or better. Preordain isn't actually a card advantage spell because it only replaces itself. You are looking for cards such as Light up the Stage and Snapcaster Mage which get more than a card's worth of value by themselves. I would examine the prowess deck linked above especially. Several of the cards in that deck are explicitly included for card advantage purposes (Bedlam Reveler).
    • Consider Planeswalkers, which often have a plus ability that draws cards. Problem of course is that it's not easy to defend a planeswalker, and they do not mesh with the rest of your gameplan.
    • A few other typical "spell" payoff cards are Delver of Secrets, which is odds-on to flip in these spell-heavy decks, Young Pyromancer and Monastery Mentor.
    • Include mana sinks. Something like Castle Ardenvale can still make you tokens every turn, even if you aren't drawing action. It's not as good as a real card of course, but it's still better than doing nothing.
    • Finally (and most closely to the title question) you could consider engines that outright draw cards every turn. Off the top of my head a couple of examples are Outpost Siege and Experimental Frenzy.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.