Magic: The Gathering cards are broken up into numerous distinct card types that each provide a wide range of effects. While creatures are able to attack and defend players, and instants and sorceries provide one-time effects, enchantments provide static effects. While there are universal enchantments that can alter various aspects of a given game, Auras are cards that enchant a single target, providing it with either a beneficial or detrimental effect.
However, as there are nearly one-thousand unique aura cards within Magic, it’s safe to say that they aren’t all of equal quality. So today, we’re going to examine the most useful and powerful Aura cards in the game’s history!
10 Darksteel Mutation
In formats like Commander that feature creatures that can be vital to a deck’s strategy, Darksteel Mutation can be an excellent form of removal. A white aura for two mana, while this aura provides an enchanted creature with the sought after indestructible ability, it comes along with a heinous downside. Namely that the enchanted creature loses all abilities and has base power and toughness of 0/1. This means that unless a player has enchantment removal or a sacrifice outlet, that creature will be indefinitely useless!
Under-costed and excellent, Rancor is a phenomenal aura for a single green mana that sees play in formats such as Pauper and Commander. This enchantment can allow creatures to consistently get their damage through, as it provides +2/+0 and trample. What truly makes this card excellent, is that if it would be put in a graveyard from the battlefield, it is instead returned to its owner’s hand. This means that once a player draws a Rancor, they will likely have access to it for the remainder of a game.
8 Utopia Sprawl
Another single-mana green card, Utopia Sprawl is an aura that can target a player’s lands. Upon entering the battlefield, this card’s controller names a color. Whenever the enchanted land is tapped for mana, it also produces one mana of the chosen color. Not only does this card help a deck ramp for the cost of a single green, but it can help multicolor decks fix their mana with ease.
7 Mechanized Production
A powerful blue aura for four mana, Mechanized Production can be attached to any artifact that its owner controls. At the beginning of its owner’s upkeep, that player creates a copy of the enchanted artifact. This means that a player can create numerous copies of a potent artifact over the course of the game.
As if that weren’t enough, if that player controls eight or more artifacts with the same name, they win the game! This means that Mechanized Production can be used to target easily producible artifact tokens like clues, treasures, or food, allowing them to win the game out of nowhere!
6 Eldrazi Conscription
While previous entries of this list produce numerous forms of utility such as mana ramp and removal, Eldrazi Conscription is a card that can instantly create a veritable monster.
Though steeply priced at eight colorless mana, it can enchant a creature, granting said creature an immense +10/+10, trample, and annihilator 2! Not only does this make a creature huge, but the added annihilator means that it can quickly devestate a player’s board if it isn’t answered quickly!
5 Bear Umbra
Bear Umbra is a stellar card that brings together numerous elements of previous cards on this list. Affordably costed at four mana, this green aura has totem armor, meaning that if the enchanted creature would be destroyed, this aura is removed instead. In addition to also providing the enchanted creatuire with +2/+2, Bear Umbra states that whenever the enchanted creature attacks, its controller untaps all lands they control!
This effectively can double the mana production a player has access to on each of their turns!
4 Song Of The Dryads
Song of the Dryads is a green aura for three mana that has similarities to Darksteel Mutation, making a threatening creature much more useless. However, Song of the Dryads has a leg up on Darksteel Mutation for two reasons. Firstly, this card can enchant any permanent, meaning it is much more versatile, allowing it to deal with anything from a Planeswalker to an artifact. Secondly, this card turns its target into a colorless forest, meaning it can’t block, and provides little to no potential utility for the target’s owner if their deck doesn’t feature green.
3 Animate Dead
One of the most iconic entries on this list, Animate Dead is an aura that harkens back to the very first set of Magic, setting the standard for graveyard recursion cards. Capable of enchanting any creature in a graveyard regardless of who it belongs to, Animate Dead returns that card to the battlefield under the control of Animate Dead’s caster. While Animate Dead provides the enchanted creature with -1/-0, this drawback is a small price to pay for an effect that only costs two mana!
2 Splinter Twin
Splinter Twin is a red aura for four mana that is often regarded for its notorious banning in the Modern format. Once a creature is enchanted by Splinter Twin, it gains the ability to tap, creating a copy of itself that has haste, but must be sacrificed at the end of the turn. When used in conjunction with cards such as Deceiver Exarch or Kiki, Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Splinter Twin is able to easily go infinite, creating infinite numbers of tokens with haste.
While there are numerous aura cards from Magic’s history that allow a player to gain control of another player’s creatures, none compare to Treachery. A blue aura for five mana, upon entering the battlefield, Treachery gains control of target creature, then untaps five lands of its owner’s choice. This essentially allows the spell to be cast completely for free as long as its caster has five or more lands in play. If its caster has means of reducing the cost of Treachery, this effect can even ramp its caster for that turn!
Next: Ten Most Expensive Commanders in Magic: The Gathering (And How Much They Cost)
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Staff Writer, Paul DiSalvo is a writer, comic creator, animation lover, and game design enthusiast currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts. He has studied creative writing at The New Hampshire Institute of Art and Otis College of Art and Design, and currently writes for CBR, ScreenRant, GameRant, and TheGamer. In addition to writing, he directs and produces the podcast, “How Ya Dyin’?”
He enjoys collecting comics, records, and wins in Samurai Shodown.
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