The Best MTG Black Tutors

How many times have you needed to draw a specific card, only to get something useless? Of course, that’s the nature of any game with random chance: sometimes you get what you want, and sometimes you don’t. Luckily, there are plenty of cards that can get you exactly what you need, and black tutors are the best of the bunch.

In Magic, black tutors give you an unparalleled level of consistency and flexibility. Most of the time, they let you search your library for any card and add it to your hand. While individual tutors may vary in effects, it’s very common for them to get whatever you need.

If you’re looking for a combo piece, you can fetch it with a tutor. If you need to stop someone from winning, you can find removal. This effect is especially useful in Commander because the larger deck size and singleton rule make it less likely for you to draw what you need naturally.

Tutors may seem simple enough, but black has lots of options to consider. You also want to make sure you’re picking the right tutor for your deck and your power level. The rest of this article will break down your options and explain why you should make a deal with the devil (or demon).

Some can get any cardSome cost life
Some work with graveyard strategiesSome exile cards from library

What Kinds of Black Tutors Are There?

Not all black tutors can search for anything, and not all of them put cards into your hand. When you’re looking to add tutors to your deck, you need to make sure you’re looking for the right kind.

Universal Tutors

Most black tutors work how I’ve already described them. As an example, consider Diabolic Tutor. It only has one effect: to search your library for a card and add it to your hand. Not all universal tutors are this simple, though. Some have extra conditions, but they have at least some circumstances in which they can get you anything. As you might expect, the more consistent tutors are also the strongest.

diabolic tutor

Graveyard Tutors

Other black tutors search for creatures and add them to your graveyard. Even though these cards are more niche, they can still be all-stars in your deck. If you have enough synergy with your graveyard, adding a card to your bin is like drawing it. Reanimator strategies can use these tutors to get their best creatures right where they want them.

Why Are Black Tutors So Good?

Maybe you still don’t get why tutors are so strong. After all, they don’t affect the board in any way. They also aren’t a source of card advantage, and some even put you down on cards. So what makes black tutors so good?

In any card game, variance is something you have to accept. Drawing cards from a randomly shuffled deck will never be reliable, plain and simple. Highly competitive decks often do everything they can to reduce variance, and they can achieve this by running tutors. Black tutors are a great way to add consistency to the inherent randomness of Magic.

sidisi undead vizier

When you draw one of black’s universal tutors, it’s almost like drawing any card in your deck. You can use that tutor to go get whatever you need, so it’s as if you’re running additional copies of your best cards.

They’re especially useful for finding your combo pieces. Once you draw the first piece, you can use a tutor to go get the other. The best tutors are also so cheap that you can often play the card you searched for immediately. That last bit is important since, as we’ve discussed, tutors don’t do anything to affect the board or your opponent.

RELATED: MTG Infinite Combos: An Ultimate Guide

Which Black Tutors are Banned?

Of course, with such a powerful effect, it’s only natural for some of these cards to be banned. The best black tutors are banned or restricted in Magic’s most powerful formats: Legacy and Vintage.

Card NameBannedRestricted
Demonic ConsultationLegacyVintage
Demonic TutorHistoric, LegacyVintage
Imperial SealLegacyVintage
Vampiric TutorLegacyVintage

Top 5 Best Black Tutors

Now that we’ve gone over why tutors are so strong, which ones are worth a slot in your deck? If you’re playing at a high power level, there are some that clearly stand above the rest.

One of the biggest strengths for all of these cards is their cheap mana cost. Paying more than two mana for a tutor can be ok in the right situation, but the best decks usually want to spend one or two for this effect.

#5: Entomb


Entomb is the best graveyard tutor available. It only costs one mana, and it’s at instant speed. You won’t find a more efficient or flexible version of this effect, but it’s still a narrow card. If you don’t care about your graveyard, Entomb won’t do anything in your deck. Reanimator strategies might love this card, but I could only put it at #5 because it’s more niche than every other entry on this list.

Still, I’m very fond of Entomb, as well as the decks it thrives in. Golgari is one of my favorite color pairs, so I play a lot of graveyard decks. My personal favorite place for this card is in my Kathril, Aspect Warper EDH deck. I can either use it to get the right keywords into my graveyard, or I can combine it with cheap reanimation spells like Animate Dead.

I always care about what’s in my graveyard with this deck, even if I can’t interact with it directly. As a result, Entomb is easily one of my favorite cards to see.

Costs one manaDoesn’t tutor to hand

Recommended Formats: Commander, Legacy

#4: Imperial Seal

imperial seal

Imperial Seal might have its drawbacks, but it’s so efficient that it’s still one of the best tutors ever printed. You might lose two life for casting it, but that’s usually a negligible cost.

The biggest downside to Imperial Seal is that it puts the card on top of your library. Unless you have other sources of card draw, this means that you won’t be able to use it right away. Since it’s also at sorcery speed, you might have to wait awhile to get the card you searched for.

Imperial Seal puts you behind on cards, but it’s often worth it to set up your next turn. You can still get a combo piece, or you can get the best card for a given situation.

Costs one manaCosts life
Doesn’t tutor to hand

Recommended Formats: Commander, Vintage

#3: Demonic Consultation

demonic consultation

This is the riskiest entry on the list, but it also has the highest upside. Demonic Consultation doesn’t search your library like other tutors; it exiles cards from the top of your deck until it finds a specific card. As a result, you could potentially deck yourself by casting this. If you’re playing a format that allows up to four copies of a card, this is much less likely. In Commander, though, it’s a very real possibility.

However, you can also take advantage of its exile effect. If you name a card that isn’t in your deck, you can guarantee that you mill yourself. That might sound like a strange decision, but casting a card like Thassa’s Oracle afterward will win you the game. Even without this combo, Demonic Consultation is a powerful tutor that shouldn’t be overlooked.

InstantRisky in Commander
Tutors to hand

Recommended Formats: Commander, Vintage

#2: Vampiric Tutor

vampiric tutor

Vampiric Tutor is an improved Imperial Seal. It works in the same way: one mana, two life, and you get to put a card on top of your library. The key difference between the two is that Vampiric Tutor is an instant. Casting this on the end step before your turn really mitigates the fact that you don’t add the card to your hand. It also gives your opponents less time to react, so you’re more likely to put together a winning scenario.

Costs one manaCosts life
InstantDoesn’t tutor to hand

Recommended Formats: Commander, Vintage

#1: Demonic Tutor

demonic tutor

Demonic Tutor isn’t just the best tutor in black: it’s the best tutor, period.

Sure, there are other tutors that only cost one mana. There are also some that you can cast at instant speed. Demonic Tutor isn’t perfect in every way, but no other tutor shares its level of consistency or efficiency. You don’t have to worry about your board state, how much life you have, or how many cards are in your deck. Demonic Tutor will get the job done.

Drawing Demonic Tutor is fantastic no matter what stage of the game you’re in. I’ve had many games in which I drew nothing but lands for multiple turns, but then found a bomb or sweeper with Demonic Tutor. It’s also fantastic for pulling ahead when the board is at parity. This card always makes my game stronger when I draw it, and it’s an easy pick for #1.

Tutors to handNone

Recommended Formats: Commander, Vintage

What Are The Best Budget Black Tutors?

Of course, those five options are great, but not everyone has the budget to play with them. If you’re trying to build a Commander deck for $50 or $100, you can’t spend over half your budget on one card.

Thankfully, there are still plenty of solid tutors at lower price points. These cards might not cut it at the most competitive tables, but they’re fine for casual games. Diabolic Tutor, for example, is strictly worse than Demonic Tutor, but it still has a strong effect. Looking for any card in your deck is powerful, even if you’re paying more for it than you’d like.

forerunner of the coalition

You can also look for tutors that synergize particularly well with your deck. For instance,Forerunner of the Coalition might be a great addition to a pirate deck. It might not offer the same number of options as one of the best tutors, but it has additional effects that can give you some value. Listed here are three great black tutors that can work wonders for players on a budget.

Black Tutors Under $5

First, let’s look at Mausoleum Secrets. This tutor definitely has its downsides: it can only search for black cards, and it’s dependent on having lots of creatures in your graveyard. Still, graveyard decks can use this to great effect. You’ll likely want to have some cheap cards that are worth tutoring for just in case you can’t fill up your bin.

mausoleum secrets

Rune-Scarred Demon is a fantastic creature, and it’s currently just around $5. Once you get the tutor effect, you’re left with a huge flying creature. That’s never a bad thing to have lying around! The one drawback to this card is that it costs seven mana. This means you can’t use it as a tutor in the early game, and it could end up stranded in your hand.

rune scarred demon

Last but not least, Profane Tutor is a very interesting card. It only costs two mana, but that’s to activate its suspend cost. You won’t actually get the effect right away, which means you can’t surprise your opponents out of nowhere with a game-winning combo.

RELATED: MTG Suspend: How It Works and What It Does

Still, you can cast this early without a clear idea of what you want to get. Just let the board develop, and then pick something that makes sense. In slower metas where you’ll just get a strong card rather than a combo piece, this card is perfectly fine.

profane tutor

End Step

We’ve gone over why black tutors are so strong, and what some of your best options are. I hope you’ve found what you’ve been searching for so you have just what you need to upgrade your favorite deck!

Photo of author

Ashley Briggs

I’ve been playing Magic for about five years, and my favorite formats are EDH and limited. Ever since I played my first game of Magic, it has been a major part of my life. Magic has given me an outlet for my creativity, a chance to be competitive, and strengthened many of my closet friendships.