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Top 10 Best Tutor Creatures in MTG – Riley Ranks

Dominaria United is filled with exciting new cards, but one that caught my eye as the previews began was Micromancer. Cards like this have an interesting pedigree – cards like Trinket Mage and Spellseeker tend to be a lot more powerful than they look. Micromancer does cost four mana, which is a fair bit, but if you’re to look back over some of the best ETB-tutor effects that have been stapled to creatures over the years, you’ll see it’s not all that expensive at all. Will Micromancer find its way onto a list like this in the future? Time will tell, but for now, here are 10 of the best “tutor creatures” ever printed!

 

 

10. Squadron Hawk

Squadron Hawk

Squadron Hawk was an instrumental part of an old Standard deck called Caw-Blade that played the Hawk in addition to Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic. You would play the Hawk, fetch up the other three, suit it up with a Sword from the Stoneforge Mystic, then tuck away extra Hawks with Jace’s Brainstorm ability and repeat the process. This steady stream of card advantage and resilient threats made Caw-Blade one of the very best Standard decks of all time, and was the reason that both Jace and Stoneforge Mystic were banned when the Modern format was first announced. 

9. Tiamat

Tiamat

Never mind searching up one card, how about five? Tiamat has remained a very popular commander for five-color Dragon decks in EDH, simply because a seven-mana quintuple-tutor that can also attack for seven is pretty damn good. As there are so many Dragons with so many different effects, Tiamat can help you build the perfect hand of threats and answers to deal with whatever’s going on in the game at any given time, and if you decide against The Ur-Dragon as your five-color Dragons commander, Tiamat is an exceptional second choice. 

8. Ranger of Eos/Ranger-Captain of Eos

Ranger of EosRanger-Captain of Eos

The original Ranger of Eos is an old invitational card, featuring the likeness of Antoine Ruel, who won the Magic Invitational in 2006. Its ability to search up two small creatures is much better than it looks, especially given the power of some one-drops, and it saw a decent amount of play for quite some time. When Ranger-Captain of Eos came along, however, Ranger of Eos faded into the background – despite Ranger-Captain only fetching one creature, the fact that it’s cheaper and has a Silence ability proved to be a more valuable package. Neither are Constructed all-stars, certainly, but it’s interesting to see how the four-drop was eclipsed by its new cousin. 

7. Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

What a career Golos has had. A mainstay of Standard Field of the Dead decks, back before Field was banned across multiple formats, Golos has since been banned himself in Commander. Having a five-color commander that ramped and fixed your mana before spinning the wheel to play spells for free is a little too good in singleton formats, it seems, and so Golos has departed the format for good. Instead, five-color mages rely on Kenrith, the Returned King or Esika, God of the Tree to lead their decks – poor old Golos’ best days are probably behind him.

6. Spellseeker

Spellseeker

Micromancer is cut from the same cloth as Spellseeker, although Spellseeker is better on more or less every axis (except for power and toughness, obviously). A three-mana creature that can fetch everything from Mana Drain to Cyclonic Rift is pretty bonkers, but it’s taken to another level entirely by the fact that it can be a budget Rune-Scarred Demon by fetching Demonic Tutor for you to then immediately cast. Spellseeker is a deceptively powerful card, and one you should definitely try to kill before they manage to flicker it and seek out even more spells. 

5. Imperial Recruiter/Recruiter of the Guard

Imperial RecruiterRecruiter of the Guard

You might look at Imperial Recruiter and Recruiter of the Guard and think, well, there’s a cap on how good these cards can be, as they can’t search up massive threats with high power or toughness, right? Absolutely not. So many top-end cards in Commander have low power or toughness: Agent of Treachery, Roil Elemental, Bane of Progress, Hornet Queen, the list goes on. Not to mention they can fetch other useful utility creatures: Acidic Slime, Solitude, Kiki-Jiki, Seedborn Muse – just because a creature has low power or toughness, doesn’t mean it isn’t a card worth tutoring up!

4. Solemn Simulacrum

Solemn Simulacrum

Solemn Simulacrum has to be one of the most widely-played unsung heroes of the Commander format. Played in more or less every creature deck that isn’t low-to-the-ground aggro, Solemn Simulacrum does it all. Ramps and fixes your mana, saves you a few points of life as it chump-blocks for you and then draws a card on its way out. For a card that gives so much, it asks so very little of us, so take a moment, next time you cast Solemn Simulacrum, to thank it for all the chump-blocking, all the extra lands and all the free cards. Solemn Simulacrum, once again, we salute you. 

3. Primeval Titan

Primeval Titan (Timeshifted)

One of my favorite cards of all time, Prime Time is too powerful for Commander, but thankfully still sees play in Modern, in decks like Amulet Titan and Boomer Scapeshift. I love this card. Whether I’m fetching up Valakuts, Kessig Wolf Runs or even just a couple of Stomping Grounds, Primeval Titan always gets the job done – and that’s before attacking for six trample damage next turn! It’s a shame it can’t be played in Commander, but I get it – despite being a huge fan of the card, and as much of a pity it is not to be able to cast it in EDH, I do understand why Prime Time is too good for the format.

2. Rune-Scarred Demon

Rune-Scarred Demon

The best tutor of all time is, undoubtedly, Demonic Tutor, and so when you staple that onto a 6/6 flyer, you’re bound to end up with a pretty good card. Sure, Rune-Scarred Demon costs seven mana, which is no joke, but you get what you pay for – a big threat that searches up the best card in your deck. Furthermore, you can blink the Demon for fun and profit, get even more cards from your deck, and if you add something like a Panharmonicon or a Yarok in there? Oh baby. 

1. Stoneforge Mystic

Stoneforge Mystic

Stoneforge Mystic is, without a doubt, the most powerful creature-based tutor ever printed. It’s narrow, sure, and only being able to fetch up Equipment doesn’t seem all that powerful. But with the living weapon mechanic, and with her activated ability that lets you cheat Equipment into hand, all of a sudden you’re playing a two-mana 1/2 that can first search up and then sneak into play a five-mana 4/4 vigilant lifelinker, or, these days, a 5/5 with so many keywords you won’t be able to remember them all. Stoneforge Mystic has been a powerhouse in more or less every format it’s been legal in, from Standard to Legacy, and even today is cheating Batterskulls into play, as is tradition. 

 

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