Tips for Omniscience Draft on MTG Arena

Tzu-Mainn Chen
March 07, 2019

Do you hate getting land screwed? Do you often find yourself staring down a grip of blue lands and green spells? If so, I have some good news for you: this weekend, Amazonian’s “Play Anything” Draft - now retitled “Omniscience Draft” returns to Magic Arena! Cast any card with a flick of the mouse, and worry not about silly things such as casting cost or color requirements!

Here are the rules of this Draft event:

  • All cards have a casting cost of zero.
  • Your deck must have a minimum of 40 cards.
  • Your starting hand is 3 cards instead of 7.
  • Each turn you get one mana of each color. This is only needed for activated abilities.
  • If you cast Omniscience, you automatically win. Okay, I made this one up, but it feels like it should be true. The true way to automatically win is by casting Apex of Power. No one ever beats that card. 

This upcoming installment will be Dominaria draft, so you can find our tips for that too. But a lot of things ring true for Omniscience Draft in general. At first blush, the strategy for an Omniscience Draft seems straightforward: giggle as you take big expensive creatures and spells, and then get ready to fling them all in your opponent’s face! But wait, let’s take a look at the rules again - one of them in particular…

Your Deck Must Have 40 Cards

During a normal Draft, you’ll draft 45 cards, pick 23 of them, throw in 17 lands, and end up with a 40 card deck. That means you use only slightly over 50% of your draft picks. However, in an Omniscience Draft you’ll use 40 of the 45 drafted cards - slightly under 90% of your pool. That means you’re not just playing with all your fun six- and seven- drops. You’re also playing with a bunch of draft chaff. These are cards you may not even know, since you’ve gotten used to dismissing them out of hand.

What does this wrinkle mean? Easy:

Drawing Cards is the Path to Victory


It’s really that simple. Any card that draws a card is a zero-cost cycler, one that will enable you to dig to the tasty meat of your deck. Any card that draws multiple cards is first-pickable.

Get ready to pick Uncomfortable Chill over Lich's Caress. Grab those Rhox Oracle over almost any other creature. And shriek in delight if you’re one of the hallowed few to open a Divination or Sift! A good Omniscience Draft deck will draw a fair percentage of its cards on the very first turn, littering the field with occasional by-products such as Skyscanners or Salvagers of Secrets (used to re-buy your draw spells).

Preventing your opponent from doing this to you is important, of course. That means your next priority should be to:

Stop Your Opponent From Having Fun

The “no fun” color in Magic is, of course, Blue. Why? Counterspells! Spells like Cancel are the most effective way of preventing your opponent from going off on their first (or any other) turn, and should be highly prioritized. Don’t worry if you’ve sworn never to play a counterspell out of principle; I won’t tell on you.

What other cards do you want?

Discard, or: How Lucky Do you Feel?

In a world of 3 card opening hands, Mind Rot is king. Well, kinda. It’s king if you’re on the play. And if you have it in your starting hand. At any other time it will be useless, since your opponent will presumably have played their entire hand for the low low cost of zero mana.

So ask yourself: have you prayed to the Magic gods today? If not, you’ll need:

Some Way to Win


These cards are probably what most people think of when considering an Omniscience Draft. Delight in your Colossal Dreadmaws and Fire Elementals and creatures of a similar ilk. The faster you can cut away huge swaths of your opponent’s life total, the better.

That means this card is also very, very good.

But what happens when it’s late in a pack and you’re left with the dregs?

Take Anything that Might Remotely be Useful

Lifegain? Sure, why not! Oakenform? Might as well! Land destruction? Hey, it could… actually, no. Let’s not do that one.

The Grand Summary

Bow down to your new king!


Here’s the tl;dr. Card draw first, then counterspells. Take discard if you win the lottery on a weekly basis. Otherwise, prioritize high-power creatures or big burn spells. Past that, hope that whatever scraps you’re left with provide any sort of utility at all.

Omniscience Drafts are a bit silly, and maybe not to everyone’s taste. But I had a blast playing a few on Arena with my daughter, and maybe you will too!

Got it? Great. Good luck!