MTG is full of extremely powerful cards of all kinds. From outrageously efficient mana rocks to enormous game-breaking Creatures, Magic has a lot of great cards across all card types. Today we will be covering the best Sorceries the game has to offer. A lot of the best and most iconic cards in the game are Sorceries, and although Instants are often more flexible given their ability to be played on the opponent’s turn, there are plenty of Sorceries that can heavily skew the game in your favor.
For this list, we will not be covering cards that are banned in every format, including Vintage. This means that cards that refer to Ante as well as the infamous Shahrazad will not be included. With this in mind, it’s time to rank the top 12 Sorceries of all time.
#12 Mind’s Desire
First up, we have a fantastic Storm payoff. Mind’s Desire is a unique Storm card because unlike Brain Freeze or Tendrils of Agony, it doesn’t win the game on its own. What makes it powerful is that it works extremely well with these storm payoffs. Often times, Storm decks require a few deck elements to function well. First, they need Ritual effects. Be them actual Rituals like Dark Ritual or ways to simply net mana like High Tide, these cards allow you to play more cards on the same turn.
Next, these Storm decks typically need ways to recoup this card disadvantage. Casting a bunch of Rituals is great, but Storm payoffs need a decent chunk of spells cast before they work. Cards like Wheel of Fortune can both refuel your hand after you’ve generated a bunch of mana and help dig for your Storm payoffs in this process. This is where Mind’s Desire comes in. What makes the card so strong is that it’s great at bridging the gap between your mana development and your win conditions. Casting Mind’s Desire even after casting only four or five spells will often find you more mana or card draw to keep your engine going before finally casting a win condition. The card is extremely strong and banned in Legacy and restricted in Vintage for a reason.
#11 Gitaxian Probe
Gitaxian Probe is an interesting card to rank, because on the surface, the card does very little. All the card does is give you information about the opponent’s hand and replace itself. After all, Peek does the same thing at Instant speed, so what makes Probe so good? Well, this is a classic example of how much mana efficiency matters. Gitaxian Probe costs effectively zero mana. While it does cost two life to cast instead, this is a small price to pay for perfect information on your opponent’s hand. This is excellent for any combo deck that wants to know if the coast is clear.
Beyond the information it gives, playing a free card that goes to the graveyard holds value too. This card adds to Storm count, fuels Delve for cards like Treasure Cruise, triggers Prowess, and more. The opportunity cost to put Probe in your deck is extremely low, which is what makes the card so strong. Any deck can play it, even without access to blue mana. It’s possible this card is even too low on this list given its flexibility, but there’s a lot of competition for the top spots, so for now it sits at number 11.
Channel is a ridiculous card, especially when drawn early in the game. For only two green mana, you get the opportunity to pay any amount of life to get that much colorless mana for the rest of the turn. The only downside is that you don’t get colored mana, so you are restricted on the spells you are able to cast. However, when paired with a card like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, winning the game is relatively trivial. Any colorless payoff is great, but cards like Emrakul that have a cast trigger in addition to being a massive must-answer threat often get the job done.
Of course, you still have access to any additional mana you have after casting Channel, so colored spells are still on the table. So long as you have the life to pay and big cards to cast, Channel is going to be great. Channel does take some effort to build around to maximize the card, and some of your payoffs can be weak if you don’t specifically draw Channel. This keeps the card from being higher on the list, but the upside it provides is so high that it deserves a spot here at number 10.
Despite the name, Balance often does not create balanced board states. What makes the card so powerful is that you can pair the card with Artifact mana or Planeswalkers that are not affected. Imagine you are on the play. You play Mox Pearl, Mox Sapphire, or any other zero mana Artifacts you have in hand. Then, you cast Balance, resulting in your opponent discarding a bunch of cards to match the number of cards you have in hand. The effect may be “symmetrical,” but it certainly doesn’t feel that way.
Balance is quite easy to abuse in other ways too. Balance can wipe your opponent’s board of Creatures if you don’t have any and can force your opponent to sacrifice Lands if they ramped. The card is super powerful, but the fact that it improves dramatically on the play also can make the card relatively miserable to play against. It makes sense why it’s banned in Legacy, restricted in Vintage, and even banned in Commander.
#6-8 Windfall, Timetwister, Wheel of Fortune
I’ve decided to group these cards together because they are all very similar. Wheel of Fortune forces all players to discard their hands and draw seven fresh cards. Timetwister does the same thing, except players shuffle their hand and graveyard into their library rather than simply discarding their hand. Windfall functions like Wheel of Fortune, except the number of cards each player draws is equal to the greatest number of cards discarded this way. Each of these cards are extremely strong.
Much like Balance, they get better on the play and work extremely well with Moxen. They’re great for Storm decks to not run out of gas, and they are easily abused with cards like Hullbreacher or Narset, Parter of Veils that make sure these cards are as one-sided as possible. Wheel is likely the best of the group, as cards going to the graveyard works best with cards like Treasure Cruise and Yawgmoth’s Will. Windfall is a little less reliable if both players are lower on cards. Still, they are close enough in their play patterns to earn spots six through eight.
#5 Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor is an extremely iconic card and is also very powerful. For the low cost of two mana, you get to replace it in your hand with any card from your deck. This card is extremely flexible, but in powerful formats like Vintage, simply searching for Ancestral Recall or Black Lotus is a great way to pull ahead.
For any combo decks, this card is great because it can find any missing piece. Demonic Tutor helps make Vintage decks more consistent, especially those either built around restricted cards or built around one specific card, like Doomsday. Demonic Tutor is restricted in Vintage and banned in Legacy as well. The consistency it gives combo decks is too high, earning it a spot in the top five on this list.
Read More: Top 12 MTG Best Pioneer Decks! (July 2023)
#4 Treasure Cruise
This card is super interesting as far as where it should be ranked. The card, while good in Pioneer, is not banworthy and only sees play in a few specific decks, like Izzet Phoenix. However, in Modern through Vintage, the card was an absolute powerhouse. Much like Deathrite Shaman, a huge reason for this is the existence of Fetchlands. These Lands that both fix your mana and put cards in the graveyard make Delve spells significantly more reliable. The whole point of Cruise was that it was supposed to resemble Ancestral Recall but be much harder to cast. Paired with Fetchlands and cheap spells like Gitaxian Probe and Mishra’s Bauble, it’s a lot easier to cast than initially expected.
Treasure Cruise is so powerful that even decks like Modern Burn would go out of their way to splash for the card when it was legal. In Vintage, Cruise even gets around Mental Misstep, which is a nice bonus. Subsequent copies of the card may be a bit harder to cast, but even resolving a single copy can put you pretty far ahead. Treasure Cruise not being top three on this list is more a testament to just how powerful the remaining cards are.
#3 Yawgmoth’s Will
Yawgmoth’s Will is the ultimate Storm card. For three mana, you get to play any number of cards from your graveyard. In Vintage, the existence of Black Lotus makes casting Yawgmoth’s Will trivial, and from there you can cast the Black Lotus for free from the graveyard thanks to Yawgmoth’s Will and get the train rolling. Obviously, Will works great with cheap ways to produce extra mana, like Rituals, but even using Will as a value engine and recasting cards like Ancestral Recall is super strong.
Even in Legacy, where Black Lotus is banned, the card could still abuse Lion’s Eye Diamond and, even though you have to discard your hand to get the mana, Will lets you replay those cards anyway. Of course, Will is banned in Legacy as well, and for good reason. The card is simply too easy to abuse, solidifying its spot at number three on this list.
Speaking of cards that are way too easy to abuse, Tinker fits that bill quite nicely. Tinker does require a bit of setup, since you have to pay three mana and sacrifice an Artifact as part of the cost. So, what makes the card so powerful? Well, Tinker acts as an Artifact tutor, but unlike Demonic Tutor, the card goes directly into play instead of into your hand! There are tons of busted Artifacts to grab with Tinker. Creatures like Blightsteel Colossus or Sphinx of the Steel Wind can win games on their own. If your deck is built around it, Bolas’s Citadel can generate an absurd amount of value.
In Vintage, you can even use Tinker to grab either half of the Time Vault plus Manifold Key combo that allows you to take infinite turns once assembled. All Tinker asks of you is that you play good, cheap Artifacts in your deck. From there, if you play a couple payoffs, it’s quite easy to cast Tinker quickly and simply search for whatever win condition works best. Much like Show and Tell, you get a big mana advantage by putting your payoff directly into play for only three mana. The difference is that Tinker is one sided and tutors for your payoff, rather than needing you to have it in hand. Tinker is absurdly powerful, but even it has nothing on the number one card on this list.
#1 Time Walk
Time Walk is the best of the best. Extra turn spells are abundant in MTG. Temporal Trespass still sees play in Pioneer today, and there was even a Standard deck built around Part the Waterveil years ago. Lots of extra turn spells have been printed since Time Walk, but Time Walk is in a class by itself. Even a card like Time Warp has seen Modern play before, and this card is identical to Time Walk except it costs five mana instead of two. Two mana to take an extra turn is simply absurd on rate.
Extra turn spells are super easy to abuse. Whether you are utilizing the additional combat step to your advantage, activating Planeswalkers again, or simply utilizing the big mana advantage you get by untapping your lands, Time Walk does everything you could want. Time Walk, unlike most extra turn spells printed in the last few years, also does not exile itself. This means that you can cast it again with cards like Snapcaster Mage or Yawgmoth’s Will. Unlike most cards on this list, there really is no setup cost for this card. At minimum, you get to draw an extra card and make an extra land drop, but the upside is much higher than that. This iconic Sorcery still tops the charts to this day and rounds out our list of the best Sorceries of all time.
Read More: Best MTG Arena Decks: July 2023