An intense game of Magic: the Gathering can be like watching a professional tennis match. Players will lobby spells at each other back and forth – casting, countering, killing, and destroying turn after turn.
This can make some people hesitant to bring out any of their best permanents at all. Why should you bother if your opponent, who has a few mana open and cards in their hand, is likely to destroy or counter whatever you do?
Fortunately, there are ways to protect your permanents from harm. One example is hexproof, which we’ll be diving into in this post. We’ve pulled together several of MTG’s best hexproof cards that you can think about adding to your next deck.
What is Hexproof in Magic: the Gathering?
New to the game? No problem – we’ll fill you in on what exactly hexproof is.
Hexproof is a keyword some permanents have. It means that the permanent with hexproof cannot be targeted by spells or abilities controlled by your opponents.
If that sounds like shroud to you, that’s because it is like shroud. The key difference between shroud and hexproof is that shroud prevents anyone from targeting a permanent with spells or abilities – even you. So, if a creature of yours has shroud, you won’t be able to equip artifacts or cast enchantments on it.
On the other hand, hexproof is one-sided. The only people who can’t target it are your opponents, so you can still equip those artifacts or enchantments to the hexproof card. In short, hexproof is better than shroud, but we’re not knocking shroud – it’s useful, too, when you can get it.
Related Article: MTG Artifacts with Hexproof
MTG Best Hexproof Cards
Got a lot of permanents on the battlefield you need to protect? You can cover them all at once by casting, Shalai, Voice of Plenty. Her second ability will give you, your planeswalkers, and your creatures hexproof.
By “you,” it means literally you as a player. Others cannot target you specifically with spells that do damage to your life total or other cards that target players.
As an extra benefit, Shalai lets you buff your creatures by applying +1/+1 counters to them. Not only does this help grow the strength of your board presence, but it gives you something to sink mana into if you’ve ramped into a lot of it.
Another way to give your permanents hexproof is to cast an enchantment like Privileged Position. The benefit to this one over Shalai, Voice of Plenty is that it applies hexproof to all of your permanents, which includes other enchantments or even artifacts.
It doesn’t say “hexproof” specifically, but the wording on Privileged Position is essentially what hexproof does. That’s why we chose to include it.
Another thing worth noting here is that you can pay the three colored mana in the cost at the top with either white or green. That means that, if you’re struggling to get either color, you can substitute it with the other color you do have, making it even easier to get this card out on the battlefield.
If you really want to stack the battlefield in such a way that all your creatures are protected, consider putting Asceticism in your deck. This nasty card essentially gives all your creatures hexproof.
But there’s another benefit: you can pay two mana to regenerate a target creature. That basically means you can stop it from going to your graveyard whenever something else would destroy it.
So, not only are your opponents unable to target your creatures with spells and abilities, but you can save them after attacking or blocking would otherwise kill them.
Read Also: Best MTG Commander Board Wipes
Uril, the Miststalker is a fantastic Commander to choose if you’re going to build an enchantment/aura deck. This is because it’s tailor-made for being equipped with as many enchantments as you can cast.
Uril will get a bonus of +2/+2 for every enchantment on it. With there being numerous enchantments that will give buffs to creature stats on their own, this makes him a hard-hitter as the enchantments stack up.
And if you’re worried that you’ll have to deal with the risk of losing all your enchantments when Uril is destroyed, don’t be. It also basically has hexproof, so people cannot target it with a kill spell.
This is a card that was tailor-made for the Commander format. Champion’s Helm is an artifact that can be included in decks of any color. Once quipped to a creature, it will give that creature +2/+2.
If that creature is legendary – which your Commander will be – it will also gain hexproof. In other words, it’s ideal for protecting especially vulnerable Commanders from being targeted.
Champion’s Helm can get a little pricey, though, so if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, you can also consider something like Mask of Avacyn.
There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to Veil of Summer. The first thing that makes it good is the fact it only costs a single green mana and it’s an instant; you can cast it early on in the game at any time.
If you’re playing against someone using blue or black, Veil of Summer will net you a little card draw. Then, it will prevent any of your opponents from countering your spells, allowing you combo off in peace.
As if that weren’t enough, all of your permanents will get hexproof that protects them specifically from blue and black for the duration of the turn. Blue and black are the best colors for countering and killing permanents, so you’ll be largely covered from a lot of removal.
In a nutshell, Veil of Summer is excellent because it simply does so much.
Building an artifact-themed deck? Padeem, Consul of Innovation deserves a spot on your roster. He gives all your artifacts hexproof.
As if that weren’t good enough, he will potentially allow you to draw an extra card every turn. The only stipulation for triggering that effect is that you have an artifact with the highest converted mana cost, which should be fairly easy if you’re running a lot of them in your deck.
Like all the other cards on this list, Archetype of Endurance grants hexproof to some of your permanents. In this case, it protects your creatures.
However, it also has an additional oppressive ability: it takes hexproof away from all your opponents’ creatures. Those creatures also cannot gain hexproof in any way later on, unless Archetype of Endurance is removed from the battlefield.
Unfortunately, since Archetype of Endurance gives hexproof to itself, as well, removing all your hexproof creatures isn’t going to be easy. Make no mistake here: opponents will be eager to get rid of it as soon as possible.
Carnage Tyrant is quite a bit different from most of the other hexproof cards in this guide. It won’t grant hexproof to a section of your permanents, but it will put pressure on your opponents, nevertheless.
This is for one simple reason: it’s a large creature with trample that your opponents can’t counter and that has hexproof. Once it’s out, Carnage Tyrant is hard to deal with, making it an excellent offensive creature.
Who doesn’t want to be able to cast spells for free? With Narset, Enlightened Tutor, you can potentially get four free spells every time you attack with her, provided you exile four noncreature spells from the top of your library.
Of course, she’s also hexproof. You won’t need to worry so much about protecting her, although it never hurts to have some counterspells on hand in case someone decides to cast an untimely board wipe.
Common Hexproof Questions in MTG
What does hexproof protect against?
Hexproof protects you or a permanent from any spells or abilities that would otherwise target it. For example, kill spells that say something like “destroy a target creature” cannot be used on something with hexproof.
To make matters simple, you can think of it this way: any spell or ability that does something to a “target creature/permanent/enchantment/player/artifact/planeswalker” will not work if the target has hexproof. Keep in mind, however, that hexproof is one-sided. It only applies to targeted abilities or spells your opponents use.
You can keep targeting your own hexproof permanents with as many spells or abilities you like. This allows you to beef up your own cards while reducing the risk of losing them.
How do you beat hexproof and indestructible?
Let’s pretend an opponent of yours has a creature out on the battlefield that has hexproof and indestructible. Maybe they’ve managed to put Avacyn, Angel of Hope and Archetype of Endurance on the battlefield. How do you get around something like that?
You already know what hexproof means, so let’s take a look at indestructible. If a permanent is indestructible, it simply can’t be destroyed. Any effects that say “destroy” or combat damage will not harm said permanent.
Therefore, a creature with both hexproof and indestructible cannot be targeted by an opponents’ abilities or spells and it cannot be killed in combat, either. This is a tricky situation to get around, but it’s not impossible.
The solution is to exile the card in question or, if it’s a creature, apply enough -1/-1 counters on it to drop it to a 0/0. Since it has hexproof, though, you cannot target it directly. You must find a card that targets all permanents of the type you want to get rid of indiscriminately. Mass exiles like Urza’s Ruinous Blast and cards that apply -1/-1 counters to all creatures like Toxic Deluge would work.
Another possibility is to bounce your opponents’ permanents back into their hand with something like Cyclonic Rift. You can also force them to sacrifice their own permanents with a card like Torment of Hailfire.
Can deathtouch kill hexproof?
Hexproof only protects you from targeted spells or abilities. Deathtouch doesn’t “target” specific creatures – it applies to anything that the creature with deathtouch does combat damage to.
Put simply, deathtouch will kill something with hexproof.
In our opinion, hexproof is one of the best defensive abilities out there. It will stop your opponents from targeting one of your permanents, but it still allows you to target the permanent in question. That makes it better than shroud, since hexproof is one-sided in your favor.
Try incorporating some hexproof into your deck if you’re worried about specific cards being targeted by enemies. Hopefully, we gave you some ideas for possible options to include.