The Most Powerful Non-Creature Spells from the Original Core MTG Set

A spell in Magic: The Gathering is any card that allows you to cast it from your hand. Spells are cast at a cost, called the mana cost. This cost varies depending on the particular spell. “Spells” are one of the two basic kinds of cards in Magic. The other kind is known as “Land” and provides the mana energy you need to cast your spells. There are several kinds of spells including Sorceries, Instants, Enchantments and Artifacts. The first two spells lose their power after use and are put into the graveyard (the discard pile). The last two are permanent and remain in play after they are cast and have a lasting impact on the game play.

Cyclopean Tomb

Cyclopean Tomb is a Mono Artifact, a powerful spell with a mana cost of four. Some players have complained that the rules governing this card are a little complicated, but the power of this card makes it worth it for most players to put in the little bit of extra effort. As an artifact, this spell is a permanent one, so it continues to exert its power in the game after it is cast. By contrast, Sorceries and Instants get used up relatively quickly after you cast them, so there is some strategy in deploying them most effectively during the game.


The Castle card is an enchantment, a type of permanent spell that can have a lasting impact on the game after it is cast. Like the Cyclopean Tomb, the Castle also has a mana cost of four. This card’s cool factor gets a big boost from the fact that the text includes a line from Skakespeare’s tragic play Macbeth, “… Our castle’s strength will laugh a siege to scorn.” In the game as in the play, a castle is used for defense; some players tend to undervalue defense and concentrate on getting more powerful creatures, but the Castle will be useful when you find your creatures overpowered.


This Artifact spell costs four mana and has the power to protect you from damage you would otherwise sustain in battle. Some players think the mana cost is a little too high considering the amount of damage the Conservator can actually prevent. Similar to the Castle, this is a defensive spell, and this accounts for some players’ criticism of it. These players would rather fill their decks with more creatures that can attack rather than merely defending themselves from attack. However, since you cannot always have the strongest creature in a battle, it makes sense to leave room in your deck for this kind of spell.

Animate Artifact

This is a permanent spell that enchants an artifact other than a creature—infusing it with a power equal to its mana cost (which in this case is three). This card has also had some detractors who point to the card’s text: “As long as enchanted artifact isn’t a creature, it’s an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its converted mana cost.” There has been some disagreement over exactly what this means, but the consensus is that you cannot cast this spell on a creature, but when you cast the spell it becomes an artifact creature with added powers.

Along with magic the gathering cards, Bryan Bucket writes on other nerdy topics such as movie trivia, video games, geek conventions and others as well.

Image credit goes to Blazingserenade.