The mana cost of a Magic: The Gathering spell is one of the most important aspects of the card. Mana costs are typically related to a card’s power and can influence when a spell can be performed in a game.
Some of Magic’s most potent spells have noticeable and lasting effects for far less mana than they’re worth. However, while rare, there are spells in Magic that may be cast without spending any mana! So, today, we’ll look at the 10 most powerful free spells in Magic’s history!
Bauble is a basic trinket capable of sacrificing itself to look at the top card of any player’s deck and then forcing you to draw a card at the start of the next turn’s upkeep. As a result, it’ll rapidly replace itself in your hand, offer you a heads-up on your opponent’s next moves, and aid in the activation of draw-powered abilities.
Snuff Out has extremely simple requirements to make it free: if you have a Swamp in play and are prepared to spend a little amount of life, you can instantly destroy any nonblack creature. In Commander, there are plenty of creature threats to deal with, especially because virtually every deck in the format starts with a strong creature in the command zone.
Without even trying, any Mono Black or 2C Black deck will be able to keep a Swamp in play. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a standard Swamp; Swamp dual lands like Watery Grave also qualify, thus with the correct mana base, even some 3C+ decks could cast it for free (consistently finding Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth helps too). Snuff Out is one of my favorite removal choices in many black decks because of the ease of casting for free and the value of instant creature removal.
Snuff Out’s major disadvantage is that it cannot destroy black creatures, thus there will be times when the creature you want to kill is an ineligible target. While this is a big disadvantage, especially at tables with a lot of black decks, Snuff Out will provide you with plenty of suitable kill targets on average.
While experts suggest Snuff Out for almost every Mono Black or 2C Black deck, there are a few decks in which the card shines. While Snuff Out is seldom used for mana, it is useful in decks like Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow, and Demonlord Belzenlok.
The 4 life loss is generally a disadvantage, but in decks like Vilis, Broker of Blood, and Selenia, Dark Angel, it may potentially be a bonus. It’s also a great fit for one of my favorite decks, Toshiro Umezawa because it’s a strong instant that kills creatures.
Until it was banned, this card was primarily used in formats like Modern. The fact that it doesn’t see a lot of play in commander doesn’t mean it’s not a good card to have.
This card allows you to examine a player’s hand before drawing a card. These are two extremely powerful talents in terms of simultaneously providing knowledge and resources.
This card can be played with Phyrexian mana because it was banned in Modern and why it is playable in Commander (cost that can be paid either with colored mana or 2 life). In control and spell-based decks, its ability makes it very strong.
Lotus petal, another Pauper all-star, is an entirely free artifact that may be sacrificed to create a single mana of any color.
While Lotus Petal may not have the same game longevity as a card like Elvish Mystic, which can produce mana without sacrificing itself, Lotus Petal’s lack of mana cost allows more powerful cards to be played earlier in the game.
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Diamond has a similar effect as Black Lotus, at least for those prepared to pay the price. You can add three mana of any color by sacrificing it and discarding your entire hand. To lessen its price and take a resource lead, use Diamond while your hand is already empty, or you’re running discard-activated madness effects.
If you control a Mountain and an opponent controls an Island, Mogg Salvage is instant artifact removal at no extra cost. Lands aren’t limited to basics; nonbasic lands with the current land type are also counted (Steam Vents).
While the creature is the most frequent non-land permanent type, the artifact is the second most common, and there are plenty of popular artifacts worth removing, such as Lightning Greaves and Skullclamp. It can be a major play to knock down these threats at lightning speed for free mana.
In Mono-Red and 2C Red decks, controlling a Mountain is a no-brainer, but having an opponent control an Island is out of your hands, which is the card’s true flaw. When none of your opponents control any Islands, you’ll have to cast Mogg Salvage for three mana instead, which isn’t ideal but isn’t the worst option either. However, because Green and Blue are the most common colors in the format, there’s a strong chance that at least one opponent will have an Island in each game.
In almost every Mono-Red or 2C Red deck, Mogg Salvage is an excellent artifact removal choice. You’ll be able to cast it for free most of the time, and there’s typically a decent artifact target for it to delete. It’s also a great fit for Red decks that draw a lot of cards fast but can’t play them all because of mana constraints, such as Wheel strategies like The Locust God or Spellslinger decks like Niv-Mizzet, Parun.
In some playgroups, especially those dominated by Blue decks, Mogg Salvage is also an excellent meta call. For example, Mogg Salvage is Red’s best answer against decks running the Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal combo since you need instant speed artifact removal to break up the combo usually be free since the combo can only be done in Blue decks.