In white, you rarely get card draw for free. Unlike blue, the undisputed card draw king; White card draw is often tied to creature abilities rather than spells alone. Alongside this, white card draw usually requires other conditions such as playing creatures, playing enchantments, or gaining life. Despite these requisites, white can allow for some very potent effects and card draw in the right deck.
As with the other list we’ve written on each color’s best card draw, only mono-white cards will be considered. With mono-white decks typically starved for gas in the format, this list will primarily focus on EDH. Regardless of which format you play, however, many of these cards will be worth keeping your eye on. As an added benefit, many of these cards are pretty budget-friendly!
Honorable Mentions – Scout’s Warning
Scout’s Warning is one of the few ways to draw a card for just one mana in white. While this would be situationally helpful, thankfully, Scout’s Warning doesn’t stop there. Alongside drawing you a card, Scout’s Warning also provides the situational usefulness of making the next spell you cast have flash. As we might have given away already, Scout’s Warning is pretty situational, although it does have its uses. Personally, casting Scout’s Warning without any follow-up is also endlessly funny, so it gets bonus points for that.
13 – Bygone Bishop
With the ability to create Clue tokens relatively easily, Bygone Bishop is a compelling draw engine for aggressive decks. So long as your deck is full of creatures with CMC 3 or less, Bygone Bishop’s requirement to Investigate isn’t too troublesome. Unfortunately, decks typically aren’t made of CMC 3 or less creatures, making Bygone Bishop less than ideal. The need to crack the Clue token after it’s been created also makes Bygone Bishop somewhat expensive.
12 – Secret Rendezvous
With the ability to draw you three cards, Secret Rendezvous is potentially very good. Unfortunately, Secret Rendezvous also requires a target opponent to draw three cards. This isn’t good. Thankfully this issue can be mitigated with cards such as Narset, Parter of Veils. However, this means you won’t be playing mono-white anymore. As a result, Secret Rendezvous is only usually adequate when you’ve got an uneasy alliance with another player.
11 – Dawn of Hope
If you’re gaining a lot of life Dawn of Hope might be the card draw engine for you. By letting you draw a card for each life gain trigger, Dawn of Hope can be incredibly effective. Unfortunately, this effect doesn’t come cheap, as you’ll have to pay two mana for each card drawn this way. If you’ve got excess mana, this can quickly let you draw into a lot of gas. However, that’s not always the case.
10 – Battle Angels of Tyr
while situational, Battle Angels of Tyr can be a surprisingly potent way to draw cards, especially in Commander. Initially, Battle Angels of Tyr’s ability to only draw you a card when attacking a player with more cards in hand than you may not appear all too strong; however, this angel thankfully features Myriad. This allows Battle Angels of Tyr to draw you up to three cards each turn potentially. This is an added benefit to already being a solid presence on the board. If that weren’t enough, Battle Angels of Tyr would also let you create treasure tokens if a player has more land than you.
9 – Bennie Bracks, Zoologist
Bennie Bracks, Zoologist may not let you draw many cards, but they are at least consistent. By only requiring you to create a token each turn, activating Bennie Bracks, Zoologist is mercifully simple. To make them even better, Bennie Bracks, Zoologist, isn’t limited to only activating on your turn. With Smothering Tithe In play, this makes Bennie Bracks, Zoologist incredibly effective at drawing cards. Convoke also makes getting Bennie Bracks, Zoologist onto the battlefield especially easy!
8 – Mentor of the Meek
Mentor of the Meek is everything that Bygone Bishop wishes it could be. Going off power rather than CMC makes Mentor of the Meek far easier to activate, despite being stricter. Directly drawing a card for only one mana also makes Bygone Bishop’s Investigating look quaint in comparison. Mentor of the Meek even puts Dawn of Hope‘s expensive card draw to shame. As a result, Mentor of the Meek makes a perfect addition to token decks with mana to spare.
Read More: What is Prowess in MTG?
7 – Halo Fountain
Halo Fountain may not hands down be the best card draw, but it more than makes up for that. Halo Fountain excels in aggressive or Convoke decks, allowing you to untap your creatures while also drawing you a card. Halo Fountain’s untapping ability can be even more devastating when combined with Inspired cards. As if that wasn’t enough, Halo Fountain can win you the game outright. Requiring fifteen tapped creatures, this ability isn’t the easiest to activate, but that’s what cards like Aether Shockwave are for.
6 – Archivist of Oghma
In a format full of tutors and fetch lands, Archivist of Oghma‘s potential is absurd. While this halfling won’t always hit the mark, if it’s played early enough, Archivist of Oghma can provide significant card advantage. Having Flash usually allows the cleric to (at worst) replace itself before getting annihilated by removal. Paired with Dawn of HopeArchivist of Oghma can be twice as practical thanks to gaining you life.
5 – Alms Collector / Smuggler’s Share
Alms Collector and Smuggler’s Share may not provide draw on their own but instead piggyback off your opponents’ successes. This allows Smuggler’s Share to draw you an obscene amount of cards if everyone is drawing more than one card each turn. Smuggler’s Share also lets you do the same for treasure tokens if opponents play more than one land.
While not as effective on a turn-by-turn basis, Alms Collector is still my preferred draw engine of the pair. This is because alongside drawing you cards, Alms Collector denies your opponents their card draw. Like tax cards, this won’t win you any friends, but it might just win you the game.
4 – Esper Sentinel
Whether it’s played early or late game, Esper Sentinel is excellent at drawing you cards. When first joining the battlefield, Esper Sentinel’s power will likely be low enough for people not to bother about it. Thanks to playing white that can quickly change with all manner of auras and enchantments. Once sufficiently buffed, Esper Sentinel won’t only be a force to be reckoned with; it’ll likely be drawing you cards each turn too. Due to its low mana cost, Esper Sentinel is generally more effective in constructed formats but still packs a punch when played early.
3 – Mangara, the Diplomat
Mangara, the Diplomat is a great draw engine that’ll have your opponents thinking twice about attacking you and casting spells. While negated by careful play, Mangara, the Diplomat‘s abilities are dangerously easy to activate. If your opponents are reckless, this can leave you with an overwhelming and game-winning card advantage.
2 – Kor Spiritdancer / Mesa Enchantress / Puresteel Paladin
Kor SpiritdancerMesa Enchantress, and Puresteel Paladin all put the power to draw cards in your hands. By synergizing with what white does best, playing auras, enchantments, and equipment, activating this trio’s draw effects are a cakewalk. While Mesa Enchantress may be the weakest of the bunch, any of these three cards are perfect for keeping your hand stocked with gas while strengthening your board.
1 – Sram, Senior Edificer
While the above trio of cards are good, Sram, Senior Editor is just better. With the ability to draw a card upon casting any Aura, Equipment, or Vehicle, activating this trigger is wonderfully simple. As a Legendary creature, Sram, Senior Edificer can even be your commander to ensure you’re able to draw plenty. This allows you to keep your hand stocked with cards constantly, so you always have options and are always one step ahead of your opponents.
Read More: Modern Masters 2015’s Paper Packaging May Make a Return