Part 1 and Part 2 may have already resolved, but you can still get them back to your hand. You don’t even need an Disentomb to do it; just follow the links!


There’s a plethora of spells out there that look at the top few cards of your library and put one of them into your hand. Anticipate is the bog standard for that kind of effect these days. Most spells like it only give you one card, though sometimes you can get more.

Treasure Hunt is perhaps the most iconic example of an Anticipate that gives you more than one card, especially since it has an entire deck archetype based around it. Otherwise, Mulch and Winding Way are probably the most popular two-mana variants that can generate card advantage. In general, this kind of spell should be treated like a cantrip, providing you with a bit of card selection. Most Anticipates dig deeper than the likes of Serum Visions or Preordain, though, so if you need a specific card for your deck to function, these may be a better choice.

The trick is knowing what you need, and choosing a suitable spell to match; Winding Way won’t do you much good if you’re trying to dig for an artifact, for instance, and the whole point of the Treasure Hunt combo is that there are only a couple of nonland cards in the deck, meaning you’ll draw most of your library when you cast it.

It’s also worth noting where the revealed cards go once one of these spells resolves; Mulch and Satyr Wayfinder have seen a lot of play because they fill up the graveyard, not because they dig you into lands. The cards they gave you are really just gravy on top of an efficient self-mill spell.


Disentomb puts a creature from your graveyard into your hand. It’s a simple effect, and sometimes you want a way to get back the powerful mythic that you drafted. There are a lot of cards like Disentomb, and the best ones bring back more than one creature, or draw you a card in the process. Honestly, between Disentombs and Gravediggers, they could fill their own article series, but suffice it to say, getting creatures back from the graveyard is almost as good as drawing new cards.

Unlike reanimation spells, it’s important to remember that you’ll have to recast whatever you get back with a Disentomb. That’s why it’s better to look at this kind of effect more like card draw; of course, actual card draw has the advantage of still working when your graveyard is empty, but at least you always know what you’re getting with a Disentomb.

Regardless, these spells can be invaluable in grindy matchups, and they’re especially useful in graveyard-based decks. Not only do they work well with self-mill strategies, but they also open up new play patterns; if you have a Disentomb in your hand, you can put your creatures at greater risk and trade them off more aggressively. After all, you know you’ll be able to get them back!

Tribal decks have some particularly efficient options for this kind of spell, such as Return from Extinction and Raise the Draugr. (If that tribe happens to be “Zombie” it gets even better!) Not every deck is laser-focused on a single subtype, however, and if that’s the case you might want to for Resourceful Return. It’s at its best with an artifact in play, but that’s not too hard to do; I’ve put it to good use in Pauper, and with the new Bridge cycle, it makes the artifact requirement pretty trivial.

The other Disentomb I wanted to highlight in particular was Macabre Waltz. Much like looting and rummaging, this spell doesn’t actually generate any card advantage, but despite that it can be deceptively powerful. At worst, you’ll have to discard one of the creatures you get back, but if you ever find yourself with a useless card in hand, being able to transmute it into an extra creature spell can be the difference between winning and losing a game.

There are also plenty of value plays you can set up with Macabre Waltz, like discarding a Madness creature, or putting a big threat into your graveyard that you can return with a recycled Doomed Necromancer. It’s not a perfect fit for every deck, but there’s a surprising amount of utility hidden in there for such a simple design.

Squadron Hawks

While not technically card draw, Squadron Hawk and its ilk certainly provide a lot of card advantage. These creatures search your library for additional copies of themselves and put them into your hand. That’s all they can find, however, which means the longer the game goes on, the worse they are. As you see more of your deck, you’re more likely to draw a redundant copy, which gives you fewer ones to search up. Still, these diminishing returns aren’t too big a concern, especially given how useful that first copy can be.

It’s worth noting how these spells interact with Brainstorm and similar effects. Because they provide a way to shuffle your library, regardless of whether you have copies left in your deck, it allows you to tuck away cards you don’t need with Brainstorm, then get a fresh look at the top of your library. The best trick is to put back extra copies of Squadron Hawk with your Brainstorm before shuffling. This way you get three new cards from your cantrip, and when you cast your next bird, you can grab the copies you put back! There’s a reason Caw-blade was such a good deck all those years ago….

Squadron Hawk is the most efficient card with this ability, but over the years we’ve seen some interesting variations on it. Whisper Squad and Elvish Clancaller move the search to an activated ability, while Wretched Throng, Welkin Hawk and Infectious Bloodlust all need to hit the graveyard to get another copy.

Trustworthy Scout splits the difference between these styles, and searches for another copy with an activated ability from the graveyard; it doesn’t even need to hit the battlefield to work; just imagine the value you’d get by discarding it Macabre Waltz!

That said, perhaps the most notable variation out of all of these has been Growth-Chamber Guardian; on the surface it looks similar to Elvish Clancaller in that it can use its adapt ability to seek out another copy. However, placing any +1/+1 counter on it will do the trick; this opens up several possibilities, not the least of which is to graft onto it when it enters the battlefield, or to proliferate its counters.

At four mana, Legion Angel costs a bit more than most of the cards we’ve been discussing, but it’s worth pointing out. It’s easy to compare it to Squadron Hawk, since it’s a white flying creature that puts more copies of itself into your hand, but the difference in how that’s implemented completely changes how Legion Angel works in a deck. Unlike a Hawk, the Angel grabs copies from the sideboard; this solves the problem of accidentally drawing redundant copies over the course of a game, but also removes the interplay with Brainstorm. It’s also difficult to decide how many copies of Legion Angel you should have in your main deck versus your sideboard. A 1-3 split means you’re less likely ever to find it, while an even 2-2 divide means you can’t chain together as many copies once you cast the first one.

There’s one other variation of the Squadron Hawk formula that’s worth mentioning, and those are the cards that search your library for a specific card, but not additional copies of themselves. Cards like Alpine Houndmaster, Renowned Weaponsmith, Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar, as well as the various “partner with…” creatures can be pretty useful, especially given the additional synergies they have with the cards they search up. They’re combos in a can!

When using partners outside of singleton formats, they’re particularly powerful, since you can chain them together for even more card advantage: the first card you play searches for a copy of its partner, which then searches for an additional copy of the first one. If left uninterrupted, one card has the potential to net you seven more; you’d have to Brainstorm an awful lot to get that much card advantage from a Squadron Hawk!

A Card For Every Occasion

Whatever your game plan is, I hope this has helped you find the source of card advantage that’s right for your deck. From big X spells for control, to grindy graveyard loops for midrange, there’s something for every strategy.

And with that, it’s time to draw this article to a close.

If you found this overview of card draw spells useful, you might also be interested in the various kinds of mana rock you can use cast them:
I Got a Rock – Part 1
I Got a Rock – Part 2

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